Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

afloat headers enivronment

Marine Environment, Science, wildlife, weather & Ocean energy
Offshore wind turbines used by Simply Blue Energy, which may be deployed off the Cork coast if a license is approved
An Irish renewable energy company is exploring the development of this island's first floating offshore wind farm close to the Kinsale gas field. Youghal company Simply Blue Energy is already involved with French giant Total in a project to build…
Clare Island is the largest of Mayo's offshore islands
The common challenges faced by island communities will be shared during the second global Virtual Island Summit which takes place in September. Some 140 ambassadors representing some 10,000 islanders will participate in the summit online from September 7th to 13th.…
Kevin Baird (Bangor Marina Manager and Harbour Master) with the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings
The Ards and North Down coastal area has done well by winning awards for excellence in facilities, environmental management, environmental education, accessibility and safety. Bangor Marina has been awarded the internationally renowned Blue Flag for the 2020 season. The Blue…
Online Survey To Help Classify Ireland’s Seascapes
A new online survey aims to deepen our understanding of Ireland’s ‘seascapes’. Commissioned by the Marine Institute, the survey seeks responses from the public that will help identify classify and describe Ireland’s the essential character of Ireland’s coastal areas and…
Dun Laoghaire Baths project in Scotsman's Bay
Shoreward photography taken at the weekend of the new Dun Laoghaire Baths shows that significant progress has been made in all areas of but overall progress is slower than anticipated meaning the project that began two years ago will not…
Rathlin Island is open again to visitors
The Island of Rathlin in the Sea of Moyle off Ballycastle is now open to resident and visiting boat owners and overnighting is allowed. The ferry is also operating. This popular destination is six miles long, one mile wide, "L"…
Eyes of the whale shark. A. Anterior view of the whale shark, showing the locations of the eye (arrows). Note that whale shark eye is well projected from the orbit. Photo was taken in the sea near Saint Helena Island. B. Close-up view of the left eye of a captive whale shark
Japanese researchers have found that whale sharks have protective “armour” around their eyeballs in the form of tiny teeth. Japan's Okinawa Churashima Research Centre scientists studied the eyes of both living and dead whale sharks, which can grow to 18-metres…
Aran residents were similar to Australopithecus robustus, according to Inis Mor hotelier Keith Madigan
Gales over the weekend have cushioned the impact of full re-opening of offshore islands to visitors as COVID-19-related restrictions are eased. However, there has been a steady increase in traffic to the Aran islands, served currently by one ferry from…
Mathematician and musician Peter Knox singing the Turbot Island song remembering the death of three fishermen in 1974 which led to the island's evacuation
When three Connemara islanders drowned on their way home in a currach from watching the All-Ireland football final on television in Clifden in 1974, their loss had such a devastating impact that most of the residents of Turbot evacuated four…
The male Sowerby’s beaked whale seen in Wicklow Harbour on Saturday 4 July
A Sowerby’s beaked whale — of a marine wildlife species rarely sighted in Irish waters — has died after getting into distress in Wicklow Harbour, as The Irish Times reports. According to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), the…
Croghaun Cliffs at Dooagh on Achill, Co Mayo
The Marine Institute has announced a call for proposals for a Senior Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Ocean Ecosystems and Climate for a duration of five years. This fellowship is designed to provide the link between current climate change research, on international…
Aerial view of Ballyliffin Golf Club
A golf links which hosted the the Irish Open in 2018 is one of a number of amenities on the Inishowen Peninsula that faces threat from coastal erosion. As RTÉ News reports, local communities fear that it may only take…
Dingle Oceanworld in Co Kerry
A Dingle-based marine wildlife sanctuary and aquarium which has recently reopened fears having to close for good without State funding to help cover its bills, as the Irish Examiner reports. Dingle Oceanworld says it is down more than €200,000 in…
Shellfish Pickers Warned Over Toxicity Levels
The public has been warned against against recreational gathering of shellfish such as mussels, clams, cockles or oysters over increased levels of illness-causing toxins. Routine shellfish monitoring by the Marine Institute along South West and West coasts detected increased levels…
The wind farm on Arklow Bank in the Irish Sea: under the Government’s Climate Action Plan, 70% of Ireland’s electricity will be generated from renewable energy by 2030
Public consultation on developing a network of offshore wind farms to meet Ireland’s climate targets has been extended by three weeks. An original deadline of July 1st for the public’s views on how offshore wind energy should be modelled has…
Little Skellig off the County Kerry coast
Little Skellig– the inaccessible sister crag to Skellig Michael - was long thought to have been inhabited only by gannets, fulmars and other seabirds. However, as The Sunday Times reports today, archaeologist Michael Gibbons and a group of climbers have…

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.

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Wave button for Afloat new dates

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating