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Latest Environment Stories
A still from video captured of the shark nursery during the SeaRover survey
Members of the Marine Institute, INFOMAR and Explorers Education teams, as well as the chief scientist of the SeaRover survey, will be at the Galway Science and Technology Festival this Sunday (25 November) highlighting the recent discovery of a rare…
The two orcas sighted off Rockabill on Saturday afternoon
#MarineWildlife - Video posted on social media over the weekend of two killer whales spotted off the Co Dublin coast has gone viral. Trawlerman James Mac Cluskey used his phone to record a few seconds’ glimpse of the pair of…
A native white-clawed crayfish
All water users along the River Shannon are being urged to take precautions after confirmation of an outbreak of crayfishrayfish plague on a stretch of the Al River. This river is one of the main tributaries to the River Shannon…
Remotely operated vehicle and detailed seabed maps used to find sensitive underwater habitat
A team of marine scientists have discovered a very rare shark nursery, 200 miles west of Ireland while investigating Ireland’s deep ocean territory. The announcement was made at the INFOMAR Seabed Mapping Seminar in Kinsale today, where video highlights were…
Popular Bray seafront in County Wicklow
An illustrated talk on the Maritime History of Bray in County Wicklow will take place in the Royal Hotel Bray on Thursday 21/02/2019 at 8pm by Brian White historian/author. The talk will trace the history of the five harbours of…
Marine Institute Welcomes Irish Commitments To Ocean Research
The Marine Institute has welcomed Irish commitments announced at the recent Our Ocean Conference in Bali which include the provision of €25 million for a 50-metre modern research vessel to replace the RV Celtic Voyager. “The vessel will provide critical…
The Riptide Movement and Amanda Byram #PassOnPlastic as part of Sky Ocean Rescue’s campaign
The Riptide Movement’s Plastic Oceans is a three-part web series that hopes to add to the urgent and important debate about how to solve the global plastic crisis and the devastating effect it is having on our marine life. The…
Minister Sean Canney TD, Louis Duffy, Director of Services, Cork County Council, Katherine Corkery, Circular Ocean, Julie Crowley, Circular Ocean, John O’Regan, Cork County Council, Chris Murphy, DCE from CIWM
Current research estimates approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year, with the Ellen McArthur Foundation citing there is likely to be more plastic than fish in our seas by 2050. The issue of marine plastics is…
This is the fifth of these conferences, started by former US Secretary of State, John Kerry, which brings together global community representatives
Minister Creed today attended the international Our Ocean Conference in Nusa Dua, Bali. This is the fifth of these conferences, started by former US Secretary of State, John Kerry, which brings together global community representatives and urges them to commit…
Dublin Port is not only a hive of activity for shipping - it’s also part of the Dublin Bay biosphere reserve
#Biodiversity - The Irish Wildlife Trust and Dublin Port Company today (Thursday 25 October) launched the Together for Biodiversity Awards with the Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan. The awards are being run by the Irish Wildlife…
‘Operation Orca’ Set To Survey Scottish Killer Whales On Celtic Voyager
#MarineWildlife - The RV Celtic Voyager departed the Port of Cork yesterday (Wednesday 24 October) for ‘Operation Orca’, a 12-day survey of an offshore killer whale community associated with the Northeast Atlantic mackerel fishery. A team of marine scientists from…
Patsy Dan Rodgers, pictured here in 2004, succeeded his father as King of Toraigh in the 1990s
#IslandNews - Tributes have been paid to Patsy Dan Rodgers, the King of Tory Island in Donegal who died late last week aged 74, as The Irish Times reports. President Michael D Higgins was among the first to hail Rodgers,…
Humpback whales are among the many species recorded by citizen scientists in the IWDG's datasets
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) datasets for cetacean sightings and strandings around the Irish coast are now back online after previous versions were corrupted in a cyber attack. The launch coincided with the hosting in Kilkenny…
Puffins and gannets are among the seabirds making their home on Ireland’s Eye
#MarineWildlife - A Howth-based ferryman fears for marine wildlife on and around Ireland’s Eye when a planned sewage outfall pipe begins discharging wastewater in the area. Ken Doyle of Ireland’s Eye Ferries tells Dublin Live that any accidental contamination of…
Wet Wipes Scourge of Irish Beaches In 2018 Coastwatch Survey
#CoastalNotes - Wet wipes are “in abundance” around the Irish coastline as the annual Coastwatch Survey draws to a close this week. According to RTÉ News, citizen science volunteers taking part in the ‘eco-audit’ of Ireland’s coasts — which has…
Exhibition: ‘SS Dundalk’ recounts tragic sinking and loss of life on the Irish Sea a century ago
#CoastalNotes - The economic, emotional and communal effects is encompassed in an exhibiton about the sinking of the SS Dundalk 100 years ago which was officially launched recently at the County Museum, Dundalk, by UK Defence Attaché, Colonel Darren Doherty.…

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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