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Latest Environment Stories
€6 Billion In Investments & Counting Under EU Atlantic Action Plan
The EU’s 2013-2020 Atlantic Action Plan has spurred over 1,200 new maritime projects and nearly €6 billion of investments so far, according to an independent consultant tasked by the EU to take stock of the initiative at mid-term. Most of…
Oceanology International 2018 took place at ExCeL London from 13-15 March
#BlueEconomy - Marine Minister Michael Creed this week visited the Oceanology International trade exhibition in London on day two of his six-day visit to the UK.  Held every two years, Oceanology International at ExCeL London is recognised as the leading…
The routine Passage East ferry, Frazer Tintern (above as the FBD Tintern) which was about to undergo annual dry-docking overhaul was forced to re-enter service yesterday on the Waterford estuary link in the lead-up to the busy St. Patrick's Bank Holiday weekend.
#FerryNews - Attempts to operate the Passage East Ferry service in Waterford Estuary were beset with bad weather recently and mechanical issues however sailings resumed service yesterday afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore. The routine ferry, Frazer Tintern links Passage East on…
Queen of Aran which Afloat adds is seen berthed in Dun Aengus Dock, Galway, is the ferry that is to be introduced serving Tory Island off Donegal
#IslandNews - A new ferry service to be introduced in serving Tory Island could lead to the 'extinction' of the community according to a group of concerned islanders. According to the Irish Independent, 'Mná Thorai' claim that a new ferry…
The two killer whales spotted by the IWDG’s Nick Massett in Dingle Bay on Monday 5 March
#MarineWildlife - Two killer whales spotted feeding off the Blasket Islands earlier this week have been identified as members of a unique pod from Scotland. “Killer whale sightings in any Irish waters are rare events, and they seem to be…
The woman and her dog were safely transferred to shore by the Portaferry RNLI volunteers
#RNLI - Yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 6 March), a volunteer crew from Portaferry RNLI was tasked to go the aid of a woman stranded on one of Strangford Lough’s many islands. The woman had been walking her dog on Rough Island,…
The sad scene at Holyhead Marina in North Wales this morning
Force 12 winds that battered Holyhead Marina, Anglesey have left the marina 'in bits' and boats berthed in the North Wales facility are reported as 'lost'. The sad scene became apparent at first light this morning. It is understood yachts in…
Celtic Voyager Explores Irish Sea’s Lost landscapes
#MarineScience - An Irish research team from IT Sligo and University College Cork recently joined the ‘Europe’s Lost Frontiers’ project to explore the extensive submerged landscapes in the Irish Sea aboard the Marine Institute’s Celtic Voyager research vessel research vessel.…
Postponed: Glenua Presentation “From the Aegean to the Fastnet Race 2017" will not take place tomorrow, 1 March however the event has been rescheduled to next week, see details below.
#CoastalNotes - “Even Dermot Cronin, just home from competing in the 2018 Caribbean 600 in stormy conditions more typical of the Fastnet Race, can’t compete with “The Beast from the East”! Consequently, the weather forecast for tomorrow (Thursday 1 March)…
Morning has broken as the biggest boat in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017, the JV 115 (Tom Brewer) rounds the Fastnet Rock.
#Presentation - Friends of Glenua are to hold a presentation entitled: “From the Aegean to the Fastnet Race 2017-Trom agus Éadrom” The presentation by Dermot Cronin will take place on Thursday 1 March (20:00) at the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club,…
Brian Britton was most recently managing director of Oriel Windfarm
The death has occurred of Irish surfing pioneer and renewable energy businessman Brian Britton, as The Irish Times reports. A member of the renowned Britton surfing family, Brian and his brothers Conor, Willie and Barry — father of Easkey Britton…
The RV Celtic Voyager celebrated 20 years of service last July
#MarineScience - The Government’s new National Development Plan includes provision for a new marine research vessel to replace the RV Celtic Voyager, according to The Irish Times. Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan says work is at an “advanced…
A computer rendering of the proposed Páirc na Mara in Connemara
#PáircNaMara - Galway County Council is seeking further details on the Páirc na Mara development for Connemara, following an objection from a local group opposed to salmon farming. New plans for the ‘marine innovation park’ were submitted late last year by…
Project To Tackle ‘Ghost Fishing’ Scourge Coming To Ireland This Summer
#Fishing - Marine wildlife worldwide continues to fall victim to ‘ghost fishing’, trapped in lost or abandoned fishing gear. The situation prompted a group of experienced divers, who often come across discarded nets and other debris, to form the Ghost…
Under the 'Northern Lights' of the Arctic Circle, Saga Pearl II which on this Valentine's Day afternoon is to depart Portsmouth, UK on a 15-night cruise including whale-watching off Norway. AFLOAT adds the small cruiseship of 18,581grt is currently at the same berth previously occupied by a heavy-lift crane barge as depicted in today's FerryNews piece: 'Investment of £1bn to boost UK ferry industry'
#CruiseLiners - On this Valentine’s Day the yacht-like cruiseship Saga Pearl II is due to depart Portsmouth International Port (PIP) at 17.00 this afternoon to see the Northern Lights in Norway. It won’t just be guests on board hoping to see…
The Shannon Dolphin Centre in Kilrush
#MarineScience - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s Shannon Dolphin Project is seeking research assistants from May-September 2018 based in Kilrush, Co Clare. Research assistants will be required to conduct monitoring surveys from dolphin-watching tour boats, spend a considerable amount…

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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