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Latest Environment Stories
Work has begun to dredge Alexandra Basin as part of the Capital Dredging Programme that is scheduled to be completed by March 2018. Under the terms of the dumping permit, a maximum of 8,760,000 tonnes of dredged material may be dumped at sea up until the end of March 2021. Among the redevelopment cranes (on left) is the restored Crane 292 recently installed in the grounds of the Port Centre on the right.
Dublin Port
#dredging- Dredging works in Dublin Port that began yesterday are to continue to March 2018 which will involve moving loaded material out to sea and dumped in Dublin Bay, writes Jehan Ashmore. The works are part of the Capital Dredging…
Dr Kyle Young on site with Dr Paddy Gargan of Inland Fisheries Ireland in the upper reaches of the National Salmonid Index Catchment at the River Erriff
Angling
#Angling - An international fisheries biologist has suggested a novel approach to boosting numbers of wild Atlantic salmon in Irish rivers — by moving wild fry from more abundant areas to weaker spots within a catchment. Dr Kyle Young, a…
Ophelia: Crunching The Numbers On Galway’s ‘Unusual’ Storm Surge
Marine Science
#Ophelia - With most of Ireland battening down the hatches for the second time in a week in preparation for Storm Brian’s arrival, the Marine Institute in Galway says it continues to gather and analyse data from Storm Ophelia. Despite…
The lone sentinel. The Fastnet Rock in average Atlantic conditions. Monday’s record there of winds of 191 km/h will have created sea turmoil beyond imagination
Weather
Before the imminent Storm Brian starts disrupting plans tonight and over the weekend, let’s take a final look back at the recent events in wind-battered old Ireland writes W M Nixon. We have been so busy marvelling at recorded wave…
40 marine leaders gathered for the meeting in Galway's Marine Institute
Marine Science
The Marine Institute is hosting a two day meeting of the European Marine Board at its headquarters in Oranmore (18-19th October). Dr. Peter Heffernan, Marine Institute CEO, welcomed more than 40 marine leaders gathered for the meeting, as well the…
The Hywind Scotland floating windfarm off Peterhead
Power From the Sea
#Windfarm - The world’s first floating windfarm is now generating power for Scotland, according to BBC News. Afloat.ie previously covered the Hywind Scotland project, backed by Norwegian energy giant Statoil, which comprises a series of giant wind turbines tethered to…
Sightings of Portuguese men o’war, like this one beached in the Bahamas, have spiked in recent days
Marine Wildlife
#Ophelia - Storm Ophelia may have brought on a repeat of last year’s infestation of Portuguese men o’war, an Irish zoologist has warned. As The Irish Times reports, Dr Tom Doyle of NUI Galway is appealing for caution along Ireland’s…
Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Montréal is on a visit to Dublin Port having taken part in a major UK-led NATO exercise off Scotland
Naval Visits
#navalvisits- A Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Montréal made a morning arrival to Dublin Port yesterday having taken part in a major UK led exercise involving a large NATO fleet off Scotland last week, writes Jehan Ashmore. The call of…
High Genetic Diversity In Irish Brown Trout Stocks, Conference Hears
Angling
#BrownTrout - There is a high level of genetic diversity in brown trout populations evident from all catchments studied. That’s according to the findings of a groundbreaking ‘citizen science’ research into the genetic makeup of Ireland’s brown trout and sea…
The Locations of the Irish Marine Weather Buoy Network. M5 buoy off the South East Coast recorded 18m high waves this week
Marine Science
Record wave heights were captured by the Irish Weather Buoy Network during Hurricane Ophelia on Monday 16th October, causing one of the five weather buoys to break it moorings. The highest wave was recorded off the Irish coastline at 16.00…
Ophelia strikes West Cork. In normal weather, the white day-mark of Baltimore Beacon stands serenely well above the sea, guiding mariners into the popular West Cork harbour. But yesterday – as recorded by noted Baltimore sailor and restaurateur Youen Jacob – Storm Ophelia ensured it was well-salted
Weather
A former hyper-active hurricane, only very recently re-classed as a severe tropical storm, hits southwest Ireland at dawn from south of southwest on a mid-October Monday morning writes W M Nixon. It spends the entire day tracking destructively across country,…
Rescue 116 over Dundalk Bay this morning after reports of windsurfers in difficulty
Rescue
#Ophelia - Windsurfers on the Louth coast have been roundly criticised on social media as they prompted a major rescue operation before the arrival of Storm Ophelia, as TheJournal.ie reports. The four windsurfers, originally thought to be kitesurfers, made their…
Ophelia: Information issued from Met Eireann, the National Emergency Coordination Centre, Dublin Port and AA Newsroom advise of safety precaution, updates on ferry travel and incidents
Dublin Port
#OpheliaDublinPort - Met Eireann and the National Emergency Coordination Centre are advising everyone throughout the country to stay away from coastal paths, cliffs and harbours during the forecasted extreme weather event. Dublin Bay  For safety reasons there will be no…
The latest predicted track of the former Hurricane Ophelia over Ireland
Weather
#Ophelia - Met Éireann has issued a Status Red wind warning for southern and western counties as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia are set to bring gusts of more than 130kmh this Monday 16 October. Mean wind speeds in excess…
Marine Institute headquarters in Oranmore, Co Galway
Marine Science
#MarineScience - Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, was at the Marine Institute headquarters in Oranmore yesterday (Friday 13 October) to discuss collaborations under the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. The Marine Institute meetings were part of a…
Cruiser’s GPS tracker shows its incredible five-month voyage from South Carolina to Mayo
Marine Science
#Unmanned - School children in South Carolina in the USA are awaiting news on the whereabouts of their unmanned sailboat that made landfall in Ireland's North West this past week. As WCSC Live 5 News reports, the miniature vessel named…

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

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