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Latest Environment Stories
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…
An 8-acre waterfront site up for sale at the former Royal Victoria Dockyard located in Passage West, Cork Harbour. The site is owned by Doyle Shipping Group (DSG). Afloat adds that the property includes a quay (see cargoship's bow) that extends eastward (not included in the photo) to the left.
#WaterfrontProperty - Victoria Dockyard an eight-acre site in Passage West which is up for sale needs to be purchased by the State or Cork County Council in order for a development that benefits the town centre to be built there,…
Point Nemo is the oceanic pole of inaccessibility - the furthest point from land in the world's oceans
#Microplastic - The Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme has found levels of plastic in areas of the Southern Ocean never before tested. The groundbreaking data is set to be released today (Friday 18 May) at the Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summit,…
Celtic Mist will be open for tours this Sunday 20 May at Dublin's Grand Cana; Dock
#CelticMist - Join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group at Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock this Sunday 20 May to celebrate before its research vessel Celtic Mist embarks on a historic marine wildlifearine wildlife expedition to Iceland. As Coast Monkey reports,…
Merrion Strand: good for walking, not recommended for bathing
#CoastalNotes - Seven beaches in Dublin and Galway have failed to meet the EU’s minimum standards for bathing water quality. That’s according to the latest Bathing Water Quality in Ireland report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which identifies Sandymount…
The Sandpiper jack-up barge is being used to conduct the survey from three locations in East Cork
#MarineNotice - The Sandpiper jack-up platform is conducting nearshore geotechnical survey operations associated with the proposed Celtic Interconnector on behalf of EirGrid south of East Cork. Similar to last autumn’s nearshore survey, the operations are taking place at three coastal…
Silver Cloud at anchor (note: chain over bulbous bow) in Galway Bay with the backdrop of Co. Clare. A zodiac is alongside to tender guests ashore to the 'City of the Tribes'.
#CruiseLiners - Ultra-luxury expedition cruiseship, Silver Cloud anchored in Galway Bay recently as part of clockwise tour of Ireland and where today the ship is docked in Killybegs, writes Jehan Ashmore. The call off the Port of Galway on Tuesday was…
Workshops Begin Next Week On Developing The Royal Canal As A Destination
#InlandWaters - Tourism and activity providers along with local communities along the route are invited to attend a series of workshops aimed at developing the Royal Canal as an attraction for domestic tourism and visitors from abroad. Coming ahead of…
Our Ocean Wealth Summit: Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan, Yvonne Thompson, Partner at PwC and Jim O'Toole, CEO of BIM, Ireland's Seafood Development Company at the launch of Our Ocean Wealth Summit 2018 sponsored by PwC, which takes place on 28 and 29 June in Galway.
#MarineEconomy - Ireland's marine economy worth an annual turnover in excess of €5.7m billion, has been on a steady growth trajectory over the past decade. Optimising, commercialising, managing and protecting this blue economy, worth over €2 billion directly to the…
The Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones on a visit this week to Holyhead Marina on Anglesey. The Welsh Government is to fund £100,000 to help businesses and promote tourism after havoc wreaked by Storm Emma took place in March.
#Holyhead - The north Wales marina in Holyhead wrecked in a storm which saw dozens of vessels sunk or damaged is to receive a £100,000 Government cash injection to help with the ongoing clean-up. Storm Emma reports Daily News, battered…
Information days about the launch of the Industry-Led Awards 2018 have been announced with dates and venues as detailed below.
#MarineScience - The Industry-Led Awards 2018 under the Marine Research Programme has been launched by the Marine Institute. The Industry-Led Awards funded by the Marine Institute will provide assistance for appropriate research activities that support the goals of Harnessing Our…
Swedish operator, Stena Line outlines its yearly overview: 'A Sustainable Journey'
#FerryNews - Swedish based operator, Stena Line which operates services across northern Europe continues to deliver on its ambitious sustainability strategy. This involves 15% lower sulphur emissions, reduced plastic on board and a decreased number of accidents among the seagoing…
Dolphins playing inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour. It does the heart good
The National Yacht Club's Mal Nowlan couldn't believe his eyes on Saturday afternoon when a pod of dolphins came into the harbour to play around his boat. 'I was calibrating my RIB’s compass when DBSC’s Committee Boat 'Freebird' came into the harbour…
The first cruise ship to call to Cape Clear, off West Cork took place last Thursday when Ocean Nova anchored offshore
#CruiseLiners - For the first time ever a cruise ship called to the West Cork island of Cape Clear last Thursday morning with a group of 70 bird watchers. Guests on the cruise ship Ocean Nova, writes the Evening Echo,…
The data buoy will be deployed for testing over the next 12 months west of Galway Bay
#Weather - The Marine Institute is preparing to carry out deployment and extended testing on a next-generation weather buoy from next week. The ILV Granuaile (Callsign EIPT) will position the data buoy at 53°07.36'N 11°12.00'W. A Statutory Sanction will be…
Start day on Leg 6 from Hong Kong to Auckland, 7 February 2018
#Microplastic - The Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme has found the highest levels of microplastic in the South China Sea during Leg 6 from Hong Kong to Auckland this past spring. Preliminary results show a whopping 360 particles of microplastic…

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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