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Latest Environment Stories
Seimic-survey ship Mainport Pine seen in Asian waters made her maiden Irish port of call to owners Mainport whose homeport is located in Cork
Cork Harbour
#CorkHarbour - An unusually high concentration of Mainport Group vessels among them a seismic-survey ship made a maiden Irish port of call to her owners homeport of Cork Harbour this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore. Afloat had monitored the arrival of…
Survey operations will be carried out by the Severn Guardian
Coastal Notes
#MarineNotice - RMS Submarine Ltd advises that they will be conducting nearshore survey operations associated with the proposed Celtic Interconnector on behalf of EirGrid, at three coastal locations in Co Cork — namely Ballinwilling Strand, Redbarn Beach and Claycastle Beach.…
Sally is heading for warmer waters in October
Marine Wildlife
'After almost five months of giving her tender loving care, the latest sea turtle rescued in Kerry is to head for Warmer Spanish waters'. Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium, writes Tom MacSweeney, says that the turtle, brought to the Aquarium “for some much-needed…
The deep sea coral Solenosmilia variabilis, photographed during this past summer’s expedition to the Porcupine Bank
Marine Science
#MarineScience - Offshore earthquakes and cold water coral in subsea canyons in Irish waters are among 26 projects awarded €45 million in research investment through the Science Foundation Ireland's Investigators Programme, announced last week by Minister of State for Training…
Scenic Ulster: Ferries Part of Ireland’s Largest Domestic Operator
Ferry
#ferry –This summer saw the much awaited launch of Scenic Carlingford Lough service, however the Limerick based owners introduced another ferry in Ulster this season, writes Jehan Ashmore. To recap firstly is the new historic first Carlingford service which saw operator,…
The location of the new outfall diffuser west of Bundoran
Coastal Notes
#MarineNotice - Marine works, including diving, will be carried out by Norfolk Marine to install a diffuser to the newly placed long sea outfall as part of the Donegal Group B Sewerage Scheme. The works, which include the installation of…
Valentia island ferry, God Met Ons III
Island News
#islandnews- An island ferry says Fáilte Ireland cannot be included, such a new ferry was felt to be crucial for tourism in the South-West, among major projects eligible for grant aid. As the Irish Examiner writes, EU rules governing state…
Dead crayfish in the River Suir
Marine Wildlife
#Crayfish - Large numbers of dead freshwater crayfish have been reported in the River Barrow in the stretch from Carlow to Graiguemanagh. It has been confirmed using DNA analysis that the cause of death was crayfish plague. This is the…
Culture Night 2017 (Friday 22 September) Among those events with a maritime setting is the Harvest Moon Celebration taking place at Hook Head Lighthouse, Co. Wexford
Lighthouses
#CutlureNight - Among the numerous events of Culture Night 2017 there are those with a distinct maritime theme. A notable event taking place on the night (Friday 22 Sept) is the annual Harvest Moon celebration at Hook Head Lighthouse, Co.…
File photo: On the left is a structure under construction at the Dong Energy site at Harland & Wolff where other renewable energy firms are engaged with manufacturing at the facility in Belfast.
Power From the Sea
#powerfromthesea - Harland and Wolff, the former giant of shipbuilding in Belfast is meeting demands from new contracts and is currently hiring a range of staff, it has emerged. As the Belfast Telegraph writes, the marine and engineering firm is…
Dr Triona McGrath giving her talk on ocean acidification at TEDxFulbrightDublin on 6 February 2016
Marine Science
#MarineScience - The Marine Institute and the Fulbright Commission are once again offering a unique opportunity for an Irish PhD candidate or scholar to travel to the USA to research in the fields of marine science or a marine-related business…
A Humpback Whale breaching in Irish waters
Tom MacSweeney
To mariners the sound of the sea is the sound of life and this week I heard some of the most amazing sounds ever recorded underwater. ‘The song of the Humpback Whale,’amazed me. It is the sound the males use,…
While walking along the Great South Wall of Dublin Port Neil Carroll and Marysia Wieckiewicz-Carroll who happened upon the 'Projection Support Structure' by Fiona McDonald
Dublin Port
#portperspectives - While taking a stroll along the Great South Wall was Neil Carroll and Marysia Wieckiewicz-Carroll (pictured above) who happened upon the 'Projection Support Structure' by Fiona McDonald. The structure forms part of the final installation of Dublin Port…
The rise in common dolphin strandings since 2011 is alarming wildlife enthusiasts
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has expressed its dismay at another record year for cetacean standings around the Irish coast. The first eight months of 2017 alone have seen 201 recorded strandings - up 30% compared…
Part of Ballycastle Golf Club was closed to allow for a controlled explosion on the adjacent beach
Coastal Notes
#Alert - Ballycastle was put on alert yesterday afternoon (Saturday 16 September) as a Second World War-era mine washed up on the Co Antrim beach, according to the Belfast Telegraph. British Army technical officers performed a controlled explosion of the…
Harbour porpoise like this one in Denmark have been protected by a Special Area of Conservation across Dublin Bay since 2013
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - This weekend Dublin Port is deploying data buoys in Dublin Bay to monitor marine wildlife activity during the controversial dredging works at Alexandra Basin. According to The Irish Times, the four boys will provide live data on any…

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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