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Latest Environment Stories
Watch Out For Tagged Seals
Marine Wildlife
The Irish Seal Sanctuary (ISS) has put out a call for observers to look out for tagged seals. Following the news that a seal pup rescued and tagged by the ISS was discovered in Wales, the sanctuary is looking to…
Government to Showcase New Exploration Opportunities in Irish Waters
Power From the Sea
Minister for Natural Resources, Conor Lenihan will next week front a major promotion of Ireland's oil and gas exploration potential to a large global audience. Minister Lenihan will showcase new exploration opportunities in Irish waters – the 2011 Atlantic Margin…
EurOcean 2010 Calls for a "Blue" Future for Europe
Marine Science
Over 400 marine scientists and science policy makers, from across Europe, gathered at the EurOCEAN 2010 Conference (Ostend: 12-13 October) to highlight the critical role of the seas and oceans in the earth and climate system and as an important…
Hello 'Halloween' Sailors
Coastal Notes

Hello 'Halloween' Sailors

22nd October 2010
As the mid-term break looms, need something to do? The Irish National Sailing School & Club have some remaining places available on their Halloween Multi Activity Camp week (Tuesday 26-Friday 29 October) between 9am-5pm daily. The week is for 7-18…
Minke Whales in Big Numbers Off Southwest Coast
Marine Wildlife
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has recorded two surprisingly large aggregations of minke whales off the southwest coast. The group reports that regular observer Nick Massett counted a group of eight minke whales off Slea Head in Co…
Notice to INSS sailors: Bank Holiday Arrangements
Coastal Notes
The Irish National Sailing School & Club would like to remind sailors that there will be No sailing this weekend due to the Bank Holiday Monday (25 October). Please note that, as per our schedule, there wiill no Junior Club…
Report Released on Marine Leisure Conference
Coastal Notes
In a report on the Marine Leisure Conference, which took place in New Ross in September, the event was received with a great response. The conference was part of the fifth annual Ireland Newfoundland Festival with over 60 participants and…
Wind Farm 'Ready to Go Tomorrow'
Coastal Notes
The backers of a proposed new wind farm in the Irish Sea near Wicklow have said the project would be ready to go "tomorrow" if given permission to connect to the national grid. Planning permission has already been obtained by…
Irish Seal Sanctuary Receives Surprise Donation
Marine Wildlife
A young supporter of the Irish Seal Sanctuary (ISS) has donated €450 to help the seals she visits regularly. Staff at the sanctuary in Courtown, Co Wexford were amazed when 13-year-old Sarah Butler donated her personal savings towards the care…
Rescued Seal is Stabbed to Death
Marine Wildlife
A seal rescued by lifeboat crew members less than three weeks ago has been found dead after being stabbed. Gardai in Arklow, Co Wicklow are carrying out an investigation after stab wounds were spotted on the animal's body after it was…
Connemara Celebrates Sea Week
Coastal Notes
The annual Sea Week festival is underway in Connemara, with events taking place throughout the region till Monday 25 October. Now in its 26th year, Connemara's Sea Week celebrates the marine environment with an eclectic mix of music, poetry, science…
Whale Breaks Long Distance Record for Mammals
Marine Wildlife
A humpback whale has broken the world record for long-distance travel by any mammal. The female whale swam at least 9,800km from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil to Madagascar in the Indian Ocean in search of a…
Killer Whale Stranded on Mayo Beach
Marine Wildlife
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reports that a killer whale was found stranded in Tullaghan Bay, Co Mayo earlier this month. A post morten was carried out on the carcass of the female killer whale by Conor Ryan…
Dunmore East Seal Shooter is Fined, Loses Guns
Marine Wildlife
Waterford Circuit Court has upheld the District Court's prosecution of a fisherman for animal cruelty after the shooting of a seal in Dunmore East harbour. The unnamed shooter – who was formally licensed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service…
Ireland's Research Vessel Celtic Explorer to Undertake Surveys for Newfoundland
Marine Science
Brendan Smith TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Sean Connick TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has signed an accord with their Newfoundland counterparts Minister Clyde Jackman and Deputy Minister Alastair O'Reilly…
Indian Summer Forecast-Don't Put That Boat Away Just Yet!
Weather
Although we've been writing about how to look after your boat this winter in Afloat's latest issue don't hang up the lifejackets just yet! A late rush of Summer is expected across the country this weekend. Unseasonable high temperatures of…

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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