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Marine Environment, Science, wildlife, weather & Ocean energy
Aran Island Ferries
No tourists are permitted to travel between the Aran Islands and Galway during current Covid-19 restrictive measures, Island Ferries has said. The private company has also said one vessel will serve all three islands daily for “essential/emergency services only “…
Tory Island off the Donegal coast
RTÉ News reports that Tory Island residents sought the assistance of gardaí and the Irish Coast Guard after a yacht berthed unexpectedly at the Co Donegal island’s pier last night (Friday 27 March). The yacht’s four crew were spoken to…
Wet wipes and disposable household wipes must be binned and not flushed
Improper disposal of wet wipes could cause the coronavirus to spread via Ireland’s recreational waters, it’s being claimed. The Green News reports on Coastwatch Ireland’s warning over the use of wet wipes, which are linked to around 90% of wastewater…
The new plan is part of an 18-month strategy to develop tourism along the Shannon corridor over the next decade to 2030
Waterways Ireland is continuing its public consultation on its Shannon tourism masterplan but has urged members of the public to respond online. The cross-border authority has published its draft masterplan and associated environmental report as part of an 18-month strategy…
"We are Islanders" - Ocean Literary Network Publishes List of Covid-19 Supports
The Irish Ocean Literacy Network has published a list of useful supports for individuals and communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. The network, which aims to achieve an ocean literate society across the island of Ireland, has appealed to communities to…
One of the world’s largest floating wind projects is to be built off the Welsh coast
An Irish renewable energy company has partnered with French energy major Total to develop one of the world’s largest floating wind projects off the Welsh coast. Marine Renewables Industry Association (MRIA) chairman Peter Coyle has described the Simply Blue Energy…
A passenger ferry approaches one of the Aran Islands offshore of the west coast of Ireland
A number of offshore islands have gone into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic with tourists and holiday home owners being discouraged from travelling there. Ferry companies serving the three Aran Islands (Inis Mór: see story) and Inishbofin have agreed…
The Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg
The Doonbeg golf resort owned by US President Donald Trump has been refused permission to build a ‘sea wall’ of coastal defences, as RTÉ News reports. An Bord Pleanála’s decision published on Wednesday (18 March) said planners were not satisfied…
Marine Planning Framework Meetings In Kinsale & Wexford Cancelled
Due to the current situation regarding Covid-19, upcoming public events on the National Marine Planning Framework planned for Kinsale next Monday 23 March and Wexford on Tuesday 31 March have been cancelled. Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government says…
Inis Mór in the Aran Islands will not be welcoming tourists for next two weeks
Galway Bay FM reports that residents on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands are appealing for tourists and other visitors to stay away for the next fortnight to limit the spread of COVID-19. Comharchumann Forbartha Árann Teo issued a statement…
The Irish Sea as seen off Blackpool in Lancashire
Three wildlife trusts in the north-east of England have been boosted with a £300,000 (€345,000) award from a major grantmaking charity for efforts to protect marine wildlife and habitats in the Irish Sea. As the Chester Standard reports, the Esmée…
Newport’s 300th Anniversary Celebrated With Lecture Series On Research Fishery (UPDATE)
Update on Wednesday 11 March: Due to concerns over COVID-19/coronavirus, the decision has been made to postpone the two lecture evenings until a later date during the Newport 300 celebrations. To celebrate the 300th anniversary of Newport in Co Mayo,…
TY students getting hands-on with marine science at the Marine Institute recently
Twenty-five Transition Year (TY) students from Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Clare, Kildare, Carlingford, Dublin and Sligo were welcomed to the Marine Institute’s sixth annual TY week programme following the recent midterm break. From 24-28 February, students had the opportunity to learn…
Portumna Harbour in County Galway on the Shannon Navigation
Waterways Ireland has been urged to work with farmers who are facing serious flooding on the Shannon, as the agency initiates a new tourism masterplan for the river. IFA Connacht chair Pat Murphy said that it would be a “win,…
Boating on the Shannon in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands
Waterways Ireland has announced the opening of a public consultation on the Draft Shannon Tourism Masterplan and Environmental Report today, Wednesday 4 March. The consultation documents will be available to the public both online and in the 10 county council…
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the cliff path at Howth
The vital role of the ocean, climate change, and actions to safeguard it for future generations were the focus of conversations between The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Marine Institute during the royal couple’s first official visit to…

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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