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Latest Environment Stories
An artist's impression of how the Maritime Museum will look when completed
Coastal Notes
#coastalnotes - The political stalemate in Northern Ireland at Stormont writes The Derry Journal is delaying efforts to secure funding to start work on Derry’s planned new Maritime Museum. Derry City & Strabane District Council has confirmed that several million…
Chief scientist Ciaran O’Donnell, Marine Institute provides the BBC One Show film crew a briefing of the survey route planned for the WESPAS survey.
Marine Science
#marinescience - The Marine Institute recently led an acoustic survey of herring and boarfish in the oceans to the north, west and south of Ireland to determine the distribution, abundance, health and maturity of the herring and boarfish stocks in…
Bantry’s own footballing legend, Graham Canty along with Bantry Bay Port Company Chairman, John Mullins (right) were on hand to open the new 40–boat marina
Irish Marinas
Bantry Bay Port Company officially opened the new Bantry Harbour Marina yesterday (Friday, 11th August 2017). Over 40 boats visited the new marina which was officially unveiled by Bantry’s own footballing legend, Graham Canty along with Bantry Bay Port Company…
The world-famous visitor attraction reached the figure today (Friday, 11 August 2017), 11 days ahead of the date the figure was reached in 2016
Coastal Notes
For the fourth year in a row, the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience in County Clare has recorded one million visitors within a calendar year. The world-famous visitor attraction reached the figure today (Friday, 11 August 2017), 11 days ahead…
The bearded seal has allegedly taken up residence at the Timoleague estuary for the last two months
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Wildlife watchers have been baffled by the sighting of an Arctic seal in West Cork, as the Irish Examiner reports. Bearded seals, marked by their pale pelt and distinctive long whiskers, are usually found between the far north…
Seen berthed at an Italian port during humanitarian mission in the Mediterranean, LÉ James Joyce which is scheduled to visit Rathmullan, Co, Donegal this August Bank Holiday Monday.
Navy
#navy - A special visitor this Bank Holiday weekend writes Donegal Now will make an appearance at the Annual Regatta and Community Festival in Rathmullan on the Monday. As previously reported on Afloat, the Irish Navy's LÉ James Joyce is…
Vision of Connemara and Galway Bay cruising. Lunchtime stopover for Drascombes on passage from Kilkieran towards Roundstone
Galway Harbour
Irish sailors don’t need their attention mesmerized by the horses and people clattering around the Galway Races Week to be well aware that in sailing matters too, it’s not a question of whether or not the West’s awake writes W…
The deep sea coral Solenosmilia variabilis
Marine Science
#MarineScience - A team of scientists have discovered the deepest known occurrence of a cold water coral reef known as Solenosmilia variabilis in Irish waters. The marine scientists, led by the Marine Institute with the National Parks and Wildlife Service…
Lancer at sea in the mid Atlantic after its release from the RV Celtic Explorer on 22 April
Marine Science
#Lancer - The unmanned miniature yacht Lancer is heading back to Ireland – and may make landfall in Kerry or Cork within weeks. The 1.5m boat made the news when it was found washed ashore in Connemara by local girl…
The blue whale is the largest animal known to have ever existed on earth
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The skeleton of a blue whale beached on the Wexford coast in the late 19th century has now taken pride of place at London’s Natural History Museum. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the museum paid the equivalent of…
Looking back ashore, boaters got a unique view of the air display off the County Wicklow Coast
Coastal Notes
An estimated 1,000 boaters in a fleet of 200 boats gathered off the County Wicklow coast this afternoon for a spectacular edition of the Bray Air Show. A selection of pleasure craft from small fishing boats and RIBs right up…
 The second newest OPV90 class / Playwright sister LÉ James Joyce is to visit Rathmullan Pier. Lough Swilly on Sunday 6 August
Navy
#navy - A Donegal T.D. Joe McHugh has announced LÉ James Joyce is to pay a visit to the county in time for the Rathmullan Community Festival and annual Regatta. Subject to operational commitments writes the Donegal Now, LÉ James…
A Whiterocks lifeguard cleans graffiti from the vandalised beach unit
Coastal Notes
#Vandalism - Vandals have caused an estimated £800 (€900) worth of damage to an RNLI lifeguard unit at Whiterocks on the Causeway Coast. Following two of the busiest days of the summer season so far in Northern Ireland, the RNLI…
Marine Wildlife watching boats at Cape Clear Harbour
Island News
It may be just three miles long by one mile wide but there's heaps of maritime activity on Ireland’s southern most inhabited Gaeltacht island, Cape Clear.  Removed from the hustle and bustle of mainland life, Cape Clear offers relaxation, nature…
Pleasure craft from small fishing boats, runabouts and RIBs to larger yachts are rafted up at North Harbour on Cape Clear in West Cork. New pontoon facilities will be installed this Summer
Coastal Notes
The good news for West Cork boaters is that the €200,000 pontoons procured for Cape Clear island's North Harbour will be installed this Summer. And as our photo taken this week shows there's little doubt that they will be put…
A giant squid preserved in ice at Melbourne Aquarium in Australia
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Once was exciting enough — but a Kerry trawler had landed a second giant squid in as many months, as RTÉ News reports. Local fisherman Pete Flannery landed what was the first giant squid recorded in Irish waters…

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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