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Latest Environment Stories
 The first deepwater INFOMAR survey of 2018, is to map the seabed in the region of the Labadie and Cockburn Banks, south of the Celtic Sea.
#MarineScience - Marine Institute's RV Celtic Explorer departed Galway yesterday for the first deepwater INFOMAR survey of 2018 to map the seabed in the region of the Labadie and Cockburn Banks, south of the Celtic Sea. These areas are of ecological…
Four Floatel Cabins will be constructed within the marina at Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire later this year
#Ports&Shipping - The south Wales Port of Milford Haven (related story) has submitted a revised master plan to Pembrokeshire County Council for its multi-million pound Milford Waterfront development. The Port received a resolution to grant planning consent in 2015 and…
Good morning to the weekend and also for the May Bank Holiday's 'Great Lighthouse, Great Fun' photographic competition to capture the best of summer fun at one of their great lighthouses.
#Lighthouses - To kick off summer, Great Lighthouses of Ireland invite you to the 'Shine a Light on Summer' Festival this May Bank Holiday weekend and to take part in a 'Great Lighthouse, Great Fun' photographic competition to capture the…
'Ireland’s Deep Atlantic' the first of a new series begins tomorrow, Sunday, 22nd April at 9.30pm on RTÉ One
#MarineWildlife - Ireland's Deep Atlantic is a new documentary series that airs on RTÉ One this weekend. Ireland’s Deep Atlantic sees underwater cameraman Ken O’Sullivan embark on a series of voyages out into the open North Atlantic in search of…
The RV Celtic Explorer will begin a three-week survey in the Celtic Sea this Sunday 22 April
#MarineNotice - Hydrographic and geophysical surveys will be undertaken in the Celtic Sea and Atlantic Ocean under the INFOMAR (Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resources) programme until October 2018. Geological Survey Ireland vessels the RV Keary…
On Wednesday morning, 18 April the Cape Clear Ferry, Dún Aengus was berthed at her overnight station inside the recently installed Storm Gates, designed to protect the inner harbour. Unfortunately, during the opening of the gate, operated hydraulically one of the stainless steel pipes burst leading to a loss of oil pressure and the gates remained closed, thus trapping the ferry inside, according to the ferry company
The storm gates on Cape Clear Island in West Cork have malfunctioned and the island ferry has been stranded inside the harbour. "We are undergoing a bit of a crisis at the moment as a result," according to the islanders…
According to New Economics Foundation (NEF), Ireland is one of the worst EU states regarding overfishing in the Atlantic
#Fishing - Calls from over 175,000 EU citizens to demand an end to overfishing and protection of European waters took place as EU environment ministers gathered in Bulgaria last week. As the Green News reports, Environmental NGOs, Our Fish, Seas…
Some of the 20 transition students from counties around Ireland, who learned about 'Blue Skill's training at the Marine Institute.
#MarineScience - A group of transition year students from five counties around Ireland, including Galway, Clare, Mayo, Roscommon and Meath, recently completed a week of marine science and technology training at the Marine Institute. Now in its fourth year, the…
‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ To Showcase Tourism In Midlands Waterways
#Tourism - ‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ is the new tourism brand for the Midlands region, with a particular emphasis on its inland waterways. More than 10,000 consumers gave their put to Fáilte Ireland on the development of the brand, which hopes…
One of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s bag nets in operation
#MarineNotice - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) will be carrying out scientific sampling using bag nets and sentinel cages in Killary Harbour and surrounding waters.  Similar to last year’s operation, the bag nets will start at the shore and extend into…
The pier at Inis Oírr
#IslandNews - A new pier for Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands is now on the cards, as Galway Bay FM reports. Minister of State Joe McHugh announced funding of €330,000 to appoint consultant engineers for the design and construction…
The proposal involves providing protection of the harbour from East/Northeast by restoring the south harbour wall to approximately where it was before the collapse of the pier end and Lighthouse in 1957
Bray Municipal District has agreed a plan and to provide funding for the rejuvenation of Bray Harbour on foot of a proposal made by The Bray Harbour Joint Development Committee. The proposal involves providing protection of the harbour from East/Northeast…
 MV Bremenholm is capable of up to 20–knots speed and is intended initially for the Schull to Cape route in West Cork
Cape Clear Island has a new fast ferry. The MV Bremenholm has been brought from Norway by the Cape Clear Ferry Company. Announcing its arrival the company said that it is capable of up to 20–knots speed and is intended initially…
The Marine Institute’s Marine Environment and Food Safety (MEFS) team pictured last month
#MarineScience - The Marine Environment and Food Safety (MEFS) team of the Marine Institute has made the list of finalists for the Irish Laboratory Awards 2018. The MEFS team performs environmental monitoring and related laboratory services managed by four integrated…
Kinvara Pier on Galway Bay
A series of public meetings will take place in Ballyvaughan, Maree and Kinvara over the coming week in relation to the work of CuanBeo (the Living Bay), a recently formed community-based organisation established with a mission of improving the quality…
Neil Prendiville's Mary P at Cape Clear Marina, the new facility is an added location on the West Cork coastline
South Harbour in Cape Clear is a favourite anchorage of mine. There are other beautiful West Cork locations - Schull, Baltimore, Crookhaven, Glandore and Kinsale to be enjoyed, but I have really loved a calm, moonlit night lying at anchor…

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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