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Latest Environment Stories
Stranded Whale Dies in Western Scotland
Marine Wildlife
A near-60ft long whale stranded on a beach in Scotland's Western Isles last week has died. According to The Daily Telegraph, the whale was discovered on South Uist last Monday afternoon. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/8807883/60ft-stranded-whale-dies-in-Outer-Hebrides.html Despite the best efforts of rescue volunteers from…
Wexford Club Honoured in Coastcare Merit Awards
Coastal Notes
Wexford Sub Aqua Club has been recognised for its commitment to the environment in an awards ceremony in Dublin last week. The Wexford People reports that Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd presented the club with An Taisce's Coastguard Initiative of…
'Toxic Maltesers' To Tackle Scourge of Zebra Mussels
Marine Wildlife
A UK-based manufactuer of pesticides has developed a so-called 'toxic malteser' to help tackle the scourge of invasive zebra mussels. The razor-edged mussels have no natural predators in UK and Irish waters so spread rapidly and wreak havoc on water…
Taoiseach Announces Marine Jobs On Visit of RV Celtic Explorer
Marine Science
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited the Marine Institute's research vessel RV Celtic Explorer in Dublin Port today, where he announced the creation of 92 jobs in the marine sector, writes Jehan Ashmore. "Ireland is now recognised as an emerging power…
Marine Institute Research Vessels On Rare Double Calls to Dublin Bay Ports
Marine Science
On a rare occasion both the Marine Institute's research vessels docked in both Dublin Bay ports today, normally these vessels operate mostly off the western seaboard and using their home-port of Galway Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore. The 65m RV Celtic…
Bottlenose Dolphins Living On Ireland's East Coast
Marine Wildlife
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has said that evidence suggests a pod of three bottlenose dolphins is living on the east coast of Ireland. According to RTÉ News, the organisation as validated close to 200 sightings of the…
Places Available on IWDG Whale Watch Weekends
Marine Wildlife
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is offering a limited number of places to non-members on its two upcoming autumn/winter whale-watching weekends in Co Cork. The weekends, based at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery, are geared towards sightings…
Shipwreck Contains Largest Ever Silver Haul Found At Sea
Coastal Notes
A shipwreck off the southwest coast of Ireland has been found to contain the largest ever haul of precious metal at sea. Some 200 tonnes of silver worth around €172m were discovered in the wreck of the British cargo ship…
Research Vessel on Hydrographic Survey Calls to Dun Laoghaire
Marine Science
As strollers take in the fresh conditions along Dun Laoghaire Harbour's East Pier today they will see the state's first purpose built oceanographic research vessel RV Celtic Voyager moored alongside at the jetty, writes Jehan Ashmore. With her distinctive 31m…
IWDG 21st Anniversary Banquet in November
Marine Wildlife
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will celebrate its 21st anniversary at a special banquet on Saturday 19 November at the Grand Hotel in Malahide, Co Dublin. The evening will consist of a three-course meal and entertainment including music…
Time Running Out for Scotland's Resident Killer Whales
Marine Wildlife
Time may be running out for Scotland's only resident pod of killer whales, the Scotsman reports. The four males and five females have been studied at their home in the west of Scotland by the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust…
Scientists Set to Show Off in Salthill
Marine Science
Hundreds of experts will be showcasing their work in marine science, weather and astronomy in Galway next Friday 23 September, the Galway Advertiser reports. http://afloat.ie/resources/business/marine-science/ http://www.advertiser.ie/galway/article/43948/the-world-of-science-on-show-in-salthill The special family-oriented Sea2Sky event - organised by NUI Galway in tandem with the…
NI Recovers After Battering by Hurricane Katia
Weather
Northern Ireland is recovering after Hurricane Katia left power cuts and travel distruption in its wake. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the remains of Hurrican Katia had been expected to strike hardest in the northern half of Ireland. http://afloat.ie/resources/weather/item/16825-hurricane-katia-set-to-hit-ireland/ The…
New Marine Atlas Answers Important Questions
Marine Science
A new edition of the North Western Waters Atlas has just been published, showing the key biological features of the waters around Ireland. The Atlas brings together in one volume the answers to such diverse questions as: How is rising…
Hurricane Katia Set to Hit Ireland
Weather
"Phenomenal" ocean conditions will be of grave concern to vessels in Irish waters from tomorrow evening as Hurricane Katia makes its approach to Ireland. As the Irish Independent reports, Met Éireann has considered issuing a severe weater warning today, predicting…
New Machines Changing the Rules for Wave Power
Power From the Sea
New Scientist has highlighted some of the latest technologies being developed to harness power from the sea. http://www.afloat.ie/resources/business/power-from-the-sea/ Companies such as Pelamis Wave Power and Aquamarine Power are already testing prototypes of their so-called wave energy 'harvesters' - enormous machines…

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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