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Latest Environment Stories
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…
Soapbox Science comes to Galway for the first time featuring participating scientists from NUI Galway, GMIT, Marine Institute and IT Sligo to promote the visibility of women in science
Marine Science
#MarineScience - A postdoctoral researcher with the Marine Institute will join a group of female scientists as they take take to their soapboxes and bring science to the streets of Galway tomorrow lunchtime. Soapbox Science takes place from 11am to…
A lion’s mane jellyfish in Newfoundland, Canada
Dublin Bay
#Jellyfish - Swimmers have been warned away from Seapoint and Sandycove on the south shores of Dublin Bay after sightings of potentially dangerous lion’s mane jellyfish in the water. Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has put up warning signs in the…
A 3D computer model of GKinetic’s hydrokinetic turbine device
Power From the Sea
#SeaPower - A prototype tidal energy turbine project in the Shannon Estuary has received almost €100,000 in funding for further development, as the Limerick Post reports. GKinetic has been testing a scale prototype of its new hydrokinetic turbine for the…
A kingfisher on the Royal Canal as seen in RTÉ’s series Waterways
Inland Waterways
#InlandWaters - BirdWatch Ireland is appealing to users of Ireland’s inland waterways to get involved in its survey of river birds in man-made structures. Ireland supports a rich and diverse network of rivers, canals and other waterways. Though often difficult…
Dog’s Bay in Connemara, with its distinctive white sand
Coastal Notes
#TopBeaches - The weather might not agree but summer isn’t over yet, and there’s still plenty of time to explore Joe.ie’s pick of amazing beaches around the Irish coast. Seaside beauty spots like Inch Beach in Co Kerry (famous for…
Sharks feed off a dead whale in the Atlantic 200km northwest of Donegal
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s Pádraig Whooley says he has “lost count” of the number of minke whales seen off West Cork in recent days, as The Irish Times reports. Whales of various cetacean species are now…
Minister Michael Creed and the winners of the third annual Marine Industry Awards held as part of the recent Seafest event in Galway
Ports & Shipping
#MarineAwards - The winners of The Marine Industry Awards 2017 were revealed at the gala awards ceremony which took place as part of SeaFest in Galway. In total 16 categories were announced at the premier event in Ireland for showcasing…
Dusty gets a cuddle from her human friend at Inis Oírr harbour recently
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Dusty the dolphin earned a measure of infamy in previous years after attacking a number of bathers at her former home in Doolin. But the Wild Atlantic Way’s other resident bottlenose – after Dingle's celebrated Fungie – was…
Killiney Beach was re-opened to swimmers on Monday following a bathing ban for high levels of E.coli detected before the weekend
Coastal Notes
#Pollution - RTÉ News reports that a swimming ban was lifted yesterday on bathing spots at Seapoint and Killiney on Dublin Bay’s southern shore after high levels of E.coli were detected last Friday (30 June). The bathing ban remains at…
Marine Minister Michael Creed addressing the fourth Our Ocean Wealth Summit in Galway last Friday
Marine Science
#MarineScience - The new National Marine Research & Innovation Strategy 2017-2021 aims to fulfil the need for a strategic marine research agenda to promote cross-agency collaboration, says Ireland’s Marine Minister. Michael Creed welcomed the new strategy during SeaFest 2017, Ireland’s…

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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