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Latest Environment Stories
Starting tomorrow, National Heritage Week (18-26 August) where among events will be those of a 'nautical' theme and activities taking place throughout the country
#HeritageWeek - Its that time of year again as National Heritage Week (18-26 August) begins tomorrow. Numerous events on land will be held across the country in addition to those of a nautical theme and directly taking place at sea.…
MV Silver Wind, seen here in Cadiz, will be Galway’s last cruise call of 2018 next month. The city saw a doubling of cruise passenger numbers between 2016 and 2017
Maritime passengers arriving at Irish ports saw a 2.1% increase to 2.8 million from 2016 to 2017. That’s according to the Department of Transport’s latest Transport Trends report published earlier this week, which highlights the increasing importance of the cruise…
Survey Says Just 8% Of Irish Waterside Spots Are Litter-Free
#Litter - Only 8% of beaches, harbours and rivers in Ireland can be considered clean, according to the first national survey on littering at waterside spots. An Taisce investigated 50 sites nationwide on behalf of the Irish Business Against Litter…
Maude Delap in 1950
#MarineScience - Pioneering marine biologist Maude Delap is the focus of an exhibition celebrating her work at her former home of Valentia Island this Saturday (18 August), as The Irish Times reports. The self-taught Delap, who was born in Donegal…
The previously unseen rocks on the shore of Lickeen Lake in North Clare that indicate that the lake may have been formed along a zone of folded and faulted rock that resulted from continental collision almost 300 million years ago
Recent low water levels due to the prolonged drought have revealed previously unseen rocks on the shore of Lickeen Lake that indicates the North Clare lake may have been formed along a zone of folded and faulted rock that resulted…
Doolin ‘is in pristine condition’, says local Eugene Garrihy, despite a new report claiming otherwise.
#CoastalNotes - Eugene Garrihy a Clare businessman writes The Irish Examiner has criticised the results of a new survey that has labelled Doolin a “litter blackspot." Mr Garrihy, father of Dancing with the Stars celeb and Fair City actor Aoibheann…
Dutch Divers Are Galway Bound To Remove ‘Ghost’ Lobster Pots From Sea Bed
#StoneAndPots - Dutch divers are bringing their campaign against ‘ghost fishing’ to Galway Bay next month, as the Irish Examiner reports. Previously covered on Afloat.ie earlier this year, the Ghost Fishing Foundation co-ordinates cleanups of lost or abandoned fishing gear…
Ireland demonstrates its abilities in cutting-edge research in extreme environments during the Controls of Coldwater Coral Habitats in Submarine Canyons II (CoCoHaCa2) survey led by UCC-led scientists on board the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer
#MarineScience - A UCC-led group of scientists from across the globe have revealed a submarine canyon on the edge of Ireland’s continental shelf, 320km west of Dingle, after mapping an area twice the size of Malta. The group returned last…
Bob the Buoy now has pride of place next to Valentia Lighthouse at Cromwell Point
#Buoys - After more than two decades of service as part of the Marine Institute’s national weather buoy network, the affectionately named ‘Bob the Buoy’ will see out his retirement as a permanent resident at Valentia Lighthouse. Bob withstood countless…
The discovery of five beaked whales in a single day has been described as 'highly unusual'
#MarineWildlife - Five dead whales have been found along Ireland's west coast and as BBC News reports, they may have been caused by naval sonar, an expert has said. Dr Simon Berrow, of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG),…
"Small Wonders" by Internationally published artist Karen Ingham who is to hold an exhibition 'Deluge' later this month in Milford Haven, south Wales. Deluge will depict the impact human activities are having on the planet’s ecosystem.
#MarineWildlife - Internationally published artist Karen Ingham will be holding an exhibition at Milford Waterfront, south Wales later this month depicting the impact human activities are having on the planet’s ecosystem. The exhibition ‘Deluge’ to be staged between 14th- 28th…
Ireland is nearing a time when we will have to rely on the kindness of strangers for supplies of natural gas given dwindling gas supplies notably at the Kinsale Gas Field. Afloat adds above Naval Service L.E. Róisín patrols with the backdrop of one of the facilities two production platforms offshore of Co. Cork.
#CoastalNotes - In the The Irish Times, Cantillon comments that The Irish Academy of Engineering is not a body given to over-reaction or wild predictions. In fact, the organisation behaves much like the professionals in its ranks, carefully assessing problems…
Sleek Profile: LÉ Róisín is open to public guided tours this August Bank Holiday Weekend while the OPV is berthed at Rathmullan Pier, Lough Swilly in Co. Donegal
#NavalService - L.E. Róisín, leadship of a pair of 'Róisín' or OPV80 class offshore patrol vessels will be open to the public in Co. Donegal this August Bank Holiday weekend. The OPV is berthed at Rathmullan Pier, Lough Swilly where…
Photo montage illustrating the layout of the new cycle and walking route
#Coastal - Planning permission has been granted for a new coastal cycle and walking path between Baldoyle and Portmarnock, as The Irish Times reports. The new 1.8km path, which has much local support, will take cyclists off a narrow country…
ACT Blade uses technology developed by AMAR Azure for its racing yacht sails
#SeaPower - Edinburgh-based ACT Blade has designed a textile blade for wind turbines that could increase energy production by nearly 10%. The company, an offshoot of racing yacht sail specialist AMAR Azure, designed the blade as part of the Offshore…
This whale tale sighting was no fluke for the Nationwide team that went to sea with Cork Whale Watch this past May
#OnTV - Be sure to tune in to RTÉ One’s Nationwide tomorrow evening (Monday 30 July) for a special feature on whale watching and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) conservation and research work. RTÉ filmed with IWDG sightings…

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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