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Latest Environment Stories
Scholarship students: Rhiannon Morgan, Chris Martin (Chairman, Port of Milford Haven) Isabelle Hughes and Rebecca Foster
#Ports&Shipping - Winners of the annual scholarship scheme in the Welsh Port of Milford Haven, have completed summer work placements experiencing the organisation’s wide range of activities. Rhiannon Morgan, Rebecca Foster, Elizabeth Jenkins and Isabelle Hughes were interviewed by a…
Lars Carlsson Head of Stena Line's AI and Jan Sjöström, Senior Master of Stena Scandinavia discuss the new AI model on board. Afloat adds the Swedish-Danish route serving ferry is an enlarged sister of Stena Adventurer operating on the Irish Sea: Dublin-Holyhead.
#FerryNews - Scandinavian based ferry giant Stena Line is conducting a pilot study in which artificicial intelligence is implemented on board. The use of AI is an important part of the Swedish operators efforts to reduce fuel consumption and environmental…
A Cuvier’s beaked whale surfacing in the Mediterranean in July 2016. The deep-ocean species is rarely spotted in the wild
#MarineWildlife - The Department of Foreign Affairs will assist with an investigation into the extraordinary numbers of Cuvier’s beaked whale deaths in Irish waters over recent weeks. Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has “instructed his department, in consultation…
Seabins To Clean Up Ards Peninsula In Council Plans
#Seabin - Ards and North Down Borough Council wants to bring in the Seabin to help clean up the coastline of the Ards Peninsula, as the Belfast Telegraph reports. The council plans to purchase 10 of the devices — which…
Hook Head Angler In Close Encounter With Shark
#Angling - Hours after a Belfast angler had a close call with a blue shark on an angling trip off Cork, a Wexford angler got more than he expected at the end of his line last weekend. As Independent.ie reports,…
Port of Milford Haven awarded accreditation against the Investors in People Standard. The south Wales waterway port includes a Four Gold Anchor marina in Milford Haven Waterfront. Afloat adds on the left is a tallship in drydock and in the background a dredger.
#Ports&Shipping - The UK’s largest energy port, the Port of Milford Haven in south Wales, has been awarded accreditation against the Investors in People Standard, demonstrating its commitment to high performance through good people management. The Port (this year celebrates…
Common limpets found across the Irish Sea in Pembrokeshire, Wales
#MarineScience - Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have identified ‘super healing’ capabilities in limpets, as Trinity News reports. The small molluscs, which can be found in coastal areas all around the world, were studied for a paper in the Journal…
Whale watching at Loop Head with the IWDG’s Dr Simon Berrow
#MarineWildlife - The Papal visit brought numbers down for 2018’s Whale Watch Ireland last Saturday (25 August). But some 950 wildlife enthusiasts still came out to 19 sites around the island of Ireland for the chance to spot some of…
More Than 150 Lion’s Mane Jellyfish Recorded Along West Coast This Summer
#Jellyfish - A whopping 157 lion’s mane jellyfish were recorded along the West Coast this summer, according to figures from the National Biodiversity Data Centre. And as Galway Bay FM reports, more than a third of these sightings (61) were…
Pike In Irish Waters Have Changed Their Diet, New Research Indicates
#Angling - Pike in Irish waters may have changed their diet preferences, according to a new report launched this week by Inland Fisheries Ireland. The report looks at new research carried out in 2016 on Lough Conn in Co Mayo…
The chair was among flotsam and jetsam salvaged by islanders on Great Blasket after the Lusitania was torpedoed off Ireland in May 1915
#Lusitania - A deck chair recovered from the wreck of the Lusitania by Blasket islanders and restored a century later is planned for public display, as RTÉ News reports. Master craftsman Pat Broderick says he was able to save most…
Attendees at annual stakeholder meeting of the south Wales Port of Milford Haven where the port at Pembroke has a ferry service connecting Ireland through Rosslare Harbour.
#Ports&Shipping - Residents and businesses in south Wales have expressed increased approval of the Port of Milford Haven’s performance over the last year, in the latest annual survey carried out on behalf of the Pembrokeshire port. When asked how the…
Photos of some of the 16 strandings sent to the IWDG by members of the public
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has expressed concern in the wake of at least 16 Cuvier’s beaked whales washing up on the Irish coast this month. Following the discovery of five beaked whales in a single…
At least 28 swallows settled on the forward rail of Scruples II. See Video below
Portrunny on the northwest shore of Lough Ree is a secluded and very peaceful place renowned for its bird life. But even so, the crew of the good ship Scruples II berthed there recently reckoned they might have reached a…
Volunteers removed half a ton of marine litter from Ireland's Eye
Seastainability and Clean Coasts coordinated a specialised clean-up of Ireland’s Eye off the fishing village of Howth, Co. Dublin. Ken of Ireland’s Eye Ferries offered his support by ferrying 23 volunteers to the island to undertake the mass clean up.…
The scene in north Wales as a fire devastates a workshop premises in Holyhead Marina.
#CoastalNotes - In north Wales, fire crews BBC News reports have been fighting a large blaze at a workshop on Holyhead Marina. An eyewitness said "30ft high flames" were coming out of the roof of a marine engineering workshop after…

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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