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Latest Environment Stories
The distance of some 6,000km the buoy travelled between the Beaufort Sea and west Connemara
#ArcticBuoy - A marine research buoy found on the Connemara coast by local Sea Scouts recently had drifted over 6,000 kilometres across the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean and Atlantic to Ireland. The buoy, around half a metre in diameter, was…
Microplastic Particles Found In Antarctic Waters By Volvo Ocean Race Team
#MarineScience - Microplastic particles have been found in the oceans close to Antarctica, data collected during the Volvo Ocean Race has revealed. Scientists with the Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme, funded by Volvo Cars, analysed water samples gathered at points…
The RV Celtic Voyager, pictured, and RV Celtic Explorer will host TTRS participants on voyages from next month
#MarineScience - The call for applicants to take part in Training Through Research Surveys (TTRS) is now open to graduate and postgraduate students from across Ireland. TTRS is a collaboration between the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research & Training (SMART)…
The BBC One television crew members joined scientists undertaking the WESPAS (Western European Shelf Pelagic Acoustic) Survey in July 2017
For the first time, a BBC One television crew joined a Marine Institute scientific survey, in search of seabirds and marine mammals in the offshore waters around Ireland and Scotland. Their voyage on the marine research vessel RV Celtic Explorer,…
The 435 Million Year–Old Fossil Starfish
A 435 million year old fossil starfish has been discovered in the Maam Valley in Galway. It is described in the latest issue of The Irish Journal of Earth Sciences, published by the Royal Irish Academy, writes Tom MacSweeney. The…
Marine Notice: Cable Route Survey Off North-West Coast
#MarineNotice - Fugro will be carrying out marine operations on behalf of TE Subsea Communications LLC for the HAVFRUE Subsea Cable System Project from this weekend. The survey project is scheduled to begin on Saturday 20 January and last for…
A model of the proposed mixed use development in Bulloch Harbour, Dalkey, Co. Dublin. Bartra Property is seeking planning permission at the site of the former premises of Western Marine. The above development plan (buildings marked in red by campaigners Save Bulloch Harbour) who Afloat add are to discuss at a public meeting on Tuesday 23 January (7.30pm) in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire. Western Marine sold the premises in 2016, however the business remains operating to include a sales office located in nearby Glenageary.
#DublinBay - A Councillor has urged Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to reject the latest plans for Bulloch Harbour, Dalkey, writes the Dublin Gazette. Councillor Michael Merrigan (Ind) has called on council planners to reject the current planning application for…
Damaging Our Oceans: Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Instiute said the scale of plastic pollution in our oceans is alarming and our current human behaviours needs to change.
#MarineScience - The Marine Institute supports Ireland's commitment to introduce national legislation that will prohibit the sale and manufacture of certain products containing microbeads. Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute, was recently interviewed on RTE Morning Ireland (see…
Storm Fionn Prompts Gale Warning For Irish Coasts
#StormFionn - Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange marine weather warning for all coasts of Ireland and on the Irish Sea today (Tuesday 16 January) as Storm Fionn sweeps in. Westerly gales or strong gales with mean speeds of…
Eugene Garrihy (far right) with shipbuilders on board the vessel in the early stage of the build at the OCEA Shipbuilding plant in La Rochelle, France
Accessing Ireland’s most popular offshore destination, the Aran Islands, and the Cliffs of Moher by sea is to get a lot more comfortable, faster and environmentally friendly thanks to a record investment by one of the best known sea faring…
Marine Institute Leads New Project In Predicting Shellfish Safety
#Shellfish - Predicting risk and impact of harmful algal bloom events that cause impact to the shellfish aquaculture sector (PRIMROSE) is a new €2.7-million marine science project led by the Marine Institute. The project is funded by the Interreg Atlantic…
Small but harmful: Microbeads are tiny plastic balls, found in soaps, shower gels and facial scrubs. The Marine Institute CEO said 8 million tonnes of plastic is annually dumped into the oceans and warned if the trend continues, by 2050 it is estimated there will be more weight of plastic population in the ocean, than the entire population of fish.
#MarineScience- The Marine Institute's CEO says the key risk with microbeads is the potential to get into the food chain, eventually getting into products eaten by humans. According to RTÉ where Dr Peter Heffernan was speaking on 'Morning Ireland', the CEO…
The bell of the liner S.S. Laurentic of the White Star Line, which sank in Lough Swilly, Co. Donegal over a century ago will be on display in an exhibition held in the Guildhall, Derry starting today and running to 24 January.
#HistoricBoats - The bell of S.S. Laurentic, one of the most significant artefacts in local maritime history, will make its return to the Derry this week, following purchase at auction by Derry City and Strabane District Council. The Bell, which…
Applications Open For RNLI’s ‘Best Summer Jobs’ Lifeguarding In Northern Ireland
#Lifeguards - The RNLI is in search of new recruits to spend the summer working on some of Northern Ireland’s most popular beaches, as applications open for 2018’s beach lifeguards and face-to-face fundraisers. Both roles are essential in supporting the…
The rise in common dolphin strandings is alarming wildlife enthusiasts
For the past six years, the first few weeks of the year have seen an increase in the number of dolphins being washed up on the Irish coastline. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group is making a determined effort this…
The Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg
#Doonbeg - US President Donald Trump’s sea wall proposal for Doonbeg has hit another stumbling block — this time from a planning activist who’s turned his attentions to the controversial plans. As TheJournal.ie reports, Peter Sweetman has lodged an appeal…

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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