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Latest Environment Stories
The signing of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation on 24 May 2013
#MarineScience - Five years ago this month, the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation was signed and the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA) between the European Union, Canada and the United States of America formed. In the time since, the…
Mark Kerrigan prepares the SmartBay Observatory for recovery
#MarineScience - The SmartBay Observatory in Galway Bay will be brought ashore for essential maintenance in the coming days. Last week Ocean Crest Marine, with diver Mark Kerrigan, prepared for the recovery of the underwater observatory, located 1.5 km off…
Holyhead marina in north Wales, with project images for the waterfront development planned by Conygar Stena Line at Newry Beach
#Holyhead- Holyhead, north Wales is where a developer behind a £100m marina development is in talks to take full control of the scheme by acquiring the stake of ferry giant Stena Line. As the Daily Post reports, Conygar Stena received…
Galway Bay is among those areas that conversationists want designated under the motion being put to the Seanad
#MarineWildlife - The Seanad today (Wednesday 23 May) is expected to hear a motion calling for the declaration of coastal areas around Ireland has ‘marine protected areas’ or MPAs. According to The Irish Times, the motion is being tabled by…
A Blue Flag standard is an international award which recognises outstanding compliance with bathing water quality and sewage treatment regulation. Above: Killiney Beach, Co. Dublin which lost its Blue Flag status last year, failed to regain in 2018. In the backdrop is Whiterock Beach, Dalkey.
#CoastalNotes - Blue flags have reached a record total in those awarded to Irish beaches and marinas for 2018 by An Taisce environmental group. The 83 Irish beaches and seven marinas writes The Irish Times, that have achieved the accolade…
Have A Whale Of A Time This National Biodiversity Week
#Biodiversity - Whale watches at Cloghna Head and Loop Head cap off a packed lineup of events for National Biodiversity Week, which began this past weekend. The nine-day initiative aims to connect people with the natural world and communicate the…
Minkes are among the smallest baleen whales but can still measure 8-9 metres in length
#MarineWildlife - Galley Head was the place to see Ireland’s biggest recorded gathering of minke whales in recent weeks, as TheJournal.ie reports. Cork Whale Watch skipper Colin Barnes estimated more than 50 minke whales feeding off the coast of West…
Point Nemo is the oceanic pole of inaccessibility - the furthest point from land in the world's oceans
#Microplastic - The Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme has found levels of plastic in areas of the Southern Ocean never before tested. The groundbreaking data is set to be released today (Friday 18 May) at the Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summit,…
Celtic Mist will be open for tours this Sunday 20 May at Dublin's Grand Cana; Dock
#CelticMist - Join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group at Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock this Sunday 20 May to celebrate before its research vessel Celtic Mist embarks on a historic marine wildlifearine wildlife expedition to Iceland. As Coast Monkey reports,…
Merrion Strand: good for walking, not recommended for bathing
#CoastalNotes - Seven beaches in Dublin and Galway have failed to meet the EU’s minimum standards for bathing water quality. That’s according to the latest Bathing Water Quality in Ireland report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which identifies Sandymount…
The Sandpiper jack-up barge is being used to conduct the survey from three locations in East Cork
#MarineNotice - The Sandpiper jack-up platform is conducting nearshore geotechnical survey operations associated with the proposed Celtic Interconnector on behalf of EirGrid south of East Cork. Similar to last autumn’s nearshore survey, the operations are taking place at three coastal…
Our Ocean Wealth Summit: Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan, Yvonne Thompson, Partner at PwC and Jim O'Toole, CEO of BIM, Ireland's Seafood Development Company at the launch of Our Ocean Wealth Summit 2018 sponsored by PwC, which takes place on 28 and 29 June in Galway.
#MarineEconomy - Ireland's marine economy worth an annual turnover in excess of €5.7m billion, has been on a steady growth trajectory over the past decade. Optimising, commercialising, managing and protecting this blue economy, worth over €2 billion directly to the…
Information days about the launch of the Industry-Led Awards 2018 have been announced with dates and venues as detailed below.
#MarineScience - The Industry-Led Awards 2018 under the Marine Research Programme has been launched by the Marine Institute. The Industry-Led Awards funded by the Marine Institute will provide assistance for appropriate research activities that support the goals of Harnessing Our…
Dolphins playing inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour. It does the heart good
The National Yacht Club's Mal Nowlan couldn't believe his eyes on Saturday afternoon when a pod of dolphins came into the harbour to play around his boat. 'I was calibrating my RIB’s compass when DBSC’s Committee Boat 'Freebird' came into the harbour…
The data buoy will be deployed for testing over the next 12 months west of Galway Bay
#Weather - The Marine Institute is preparing to carry out deployment and extended testing on a next-generation weather buoy from next week. The ILV Granuaile (Callsign EIPT) will position the data buoy at 53°07.36'N 11°12.00'W. A Statutory Sanction will be…
Start day on Leg 6 from Hong Kong to Auckland, 7 February 2018
#Microplastic - The Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme has found the highest levels of microplastic in the South China Sea during Leg 6 from Hong Kong to Auckland this past spring. Preliminary results show a whopping 360 particles of microplastic…

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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