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Latest Environment Stories
Connemara Airport near Rossaveal, from where Aer Arann Islands flies its PSO services to the Aran Islands
#AranIslands - Aer Arann Islands has given notice for termination of its PSO contract for the Aran Islands two years ahead of schedule, as RTÉ News reports. The airline will end its flights between the islands and the Galway mainland…
Milford Haven Marina & Waterfront in south-west Wales
#CoastalNotes - The Welsh Port of Milford Haven and The National Museum of the Royal Navy have joined forces to promote and celebrate the Milford Haven Waterway’s rich naval and maritime heritage. Together the two organisations hope to raise awareness…
Stunning scenery: Calf of Man, off the south-west of the Isle of Man from where the Steam-Packet is to operate from Douglas the popular annual 'Round the Island' cruise on 23 June.
#FerryNews - What about taking a novel excursion this summer as the Isle of Man Steam Packet offer the popular annual 'Round the Island' cruise this month, bringing an opportunity to take in the spectacular Manx coastline. The Steam-Packet which…
Newbuild Star of Doolin which is to make a delivery voyage from France with an arrival to Doolin, Co. Clare due next week
#IslandNews - Costing €3 million is a new state-of-the-art ferry to serve the Aran Islands which will arrive in Doolin, Co. Clare next week. The eco-friendly Star of Doolin writes Galway BayFM has been commissioned by the Garrihy’s family run-business,…
The signing of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation on 24 May 2013
#MarineScience - Five years ago this month, the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation was signed and the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA) between the European Union, Canada and the United States of America formed. In the time since, the…
The Irish Sea Port of Barrow in Cumbria, north-west England wins a trophy for the UK Port of the Year Award held in London
#Ports&Shipping - An Irish Sea port, Barrow in north-west England has won the prestigious UK Port of the Year Award at this year’s 10th annual UK Ports Conference held in the heart of London. According to Associated British Ports (ABP)…
Mark Kerrigan prepares the SmartBay Observatory for recovery
#MarineScience - The SmartBay Observatory in Galway Bay will be brought ashore for essential maintenance in the coming days. Last week Ocean Crest Marine, with diver Mark Kerrigan, prepared for the recovery of the underwater observatory, located 1.5 km off…
Some of the fresh produce available from Portumna Country Market
#InlandWaters - A Taste of Lough Derg, now in its fifth successive year, will return this summer to feature over 30 food events taking place in villages and towns along the shores of Lough Derg. The initiative is co-ordinated and…
Holyhead marina in north Wales, with project images for the waterfront development planned by Conygar Stena Line at Newry Beach
#Holyhead- Holyhead, north Wales is where a developer behind a £100m marina development is in talks to take full control of the scheme by acquiring the stake of ferry giant Stena Line. As the Daily Post reports, Conygar Stena received…
Galway Bay is among those areas that conversationists want designated under the motion being put to the Seanad
#MarineWildlife - The Seanad today (Wednesday 23 May) is expected to hear a motion calling for the declaration of coastal areas around Ireland has ‘marine protected areas’ or MPAs. According to The Irish Times, the motion is being tabled by…
Danmark, a trainee schoolship seen in June 2016 and when bound for Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands. The tallship directly ahead (was photographed from on board Stena Superfast VII) while also underway off Belfast Lough, with the ferry sailing to Scotland. This season saw the tallship began a voyage from Fredikshavn in March and with a first port of call last month scheduled with a return call to Spain but to Cadiz on the mainland.
#Tallships - A pair of ships, one a Danish trainee tallship, the other a former Norwegian 'Hurtigruten' coastal passenger/cargoship but trading now as a cruiseship, are anchored closely to each other off Bantry, Co. Cork today, writes Jehan Ashmore. The…
Tim Farron, the British M.P (on left) who recently visited the Irish Sea Port of Barrow, Cumbria. Afloat adds accompanying the former Liberal Democrats leader until July 2017, is Carl Bevan, North West Divisional Port Manager at Barrow, part of the large UK ports group, Associated British Ports (ABP).
#Ports&Shipping - The Irish Sea Port of Barrow in north-west England, welcomed Tim Farron, the British MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, who had an exclusive tour of the Cumbrian port and to find out more about its history and operations.…
A Blue Flag standard is an international award which recognises outstanding compliance with bathing water quality and sewage treatment regulation. Above: Killiney Beach, Co. Dublin which lost its Blue Flag status last year, failed to regain in 2018. In the backdrop is Whiterock Beach, Dalkey.
#CoastalNotes - Blue flags have reached a record total in those awarded to Irish beaches and marinas for 2018 by An Taisce environmental group. The 83 Irish beaches and seven marinas writes The Irish Times, that have achieved the accolade…
Have A Whale Of A Time This National Biodiversity Week
#Biodiversity - Whale watches at Cloghna Head and Loop Head cap off a packed lineup of events for National Biodiversity Week, which began this past weekend. The nine-day initiative aims to connect people with the natural world and communicate the…
Minkes are among the smallest baleen whales but can still measure 8-9 metres in length
#MarineWildlife - Galley Head was the place to see Ireland’s biggest recorded gathering of minke whales in recent weeks, as TheJournal.ie reports. Cork Whale Watch skipper Colin Barnes estimated more than 50 minke whales feeding off the coast of West…
IWDG's Celtic Mist with Fin Whale
Humpback whales are one of the most iconic animals on the planet, ambassadors for the world’s oceans. The image of a humpback whale, with its fluke lifted clear of the water became the symbol of the environmental movement when a…

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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