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Latest Environment Stories
RV Celtic Voyager
#MarineScience - Applications are open for shiptime in 2019 and 2020 on Ireland’s national research vessels Celtic Explorer and Celtic Voyager, as well as the ROV Holland I and the Laochra na Mara glider. Every year a broad range of…
Teen Stung By Lion’s Mane Jellyfish Off Louth Beach
#Jellyfish - Ireland’s recent invasion of lion’s mane jellyfish has extended from Galway Bay to the East Coast, where a teenager was hospitalised after a nasty sting in recent days. Herald.ie reports that 14-year-old Jack Dunne was stung over most…
Seaweed Harvesting Begins In Bantry Bay
Mechanical harvesting of sub-tidal seaweed was set to begin today (Wednesday 4 July) in Bantry Bay. Operations by BioAtlantis Aquamarine Ltd, using the Atlantis Explorer (Callsugn EIPQ2) are expected to continue for the duration of the licence until 2024. Harvesting…
Nesbit has pride of place on the Connolly farm near Ballinspittle
A houseboat with a difference adds to a growing number of quirky holiday options in Ireland. ‘Nesbit’ is a former naval tender that’s been transplanted to the farm Dawna Connolly shares with her husband and their two young children near…
Primary schoolchildren explore the physics of sailing in Howth
#MarineScience - Irish Sailing’s Cara na Mara programme teamed up with the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme this month in encouraging primary schools to engage with the marine environment. Clubs involved with the programme, that aimed to offer “a dynamic…
Lion’s Mane Jellyfish In Irish Waters Are Larger Than Usual
#Jellyfish - Lion’s mane jellyfish in Irish waters this summer are much larger than usual. That’s according to zoologist Dr Tom Doyle, who spoke to The Irish Times after a recent spate of incidents that saw swimmers hospitalised by stings…
Some of this summer’s Marine Institute bursars
#MarineScience - Twenty-five third level undergraduates have joined the Marine Institute this summer to gain work experience in variety of areas including fish and shellfish assessment and monitoring, catchment research, and the management of the national research vessels as well…
Dead crayfish in the River Suir last year
#Crayfish - The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is investigating the widespread deaths of white-clawed crayfish in Lough Owel that may be linked to an outbreak of crayfish plague. As TheJournal.ie reports, the Co Westmeath inland waterway is home…
Coney Island in Lough Neagh has a history dating back to Neolithic times
#LoughNeagh - The UK’s National Trust is seeking a new warden — or wardens — to care for the historic Coney Island in Lough Neagh, as Belfast Live reports. The island’s restored 19th-century cottage, which until last year was home…
The VOS Sweet is conducting surveys off East Cork for the Celtic Interconnector project
#MarineNotice - The survey vessel VOS Sweet (Callsign PCPE) is currently conducting offshore geotechnical and environmental survey operations associated with the proposed Celtic Interconnector on behalf of EirGrid. The VOS Sweet was set to commence operations yesterday, Monday 18 June,…
A lion’s mane jellyfish in Newfoundland, Canada
#Jellyfish - Bathers have been put on alert in Galway Bay after a number of swimmers were hospitalised for stings by lion’s mane jellyfish. According to the Connacht Tribune, one woman was stung in the face on Saturday 9 June,…
The RV Celtic Voyager is undertaking the survey off the Celtic Sea shelf southwest of Cork and Kerry
#MarineScience - Researchers at NUI Galway, along with partners at the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG) and the Marine Institute, are currently carrying out a marine hydroacoustic survey in the eastern margin of the Porcupine Basin. Continuing…
Aerial shot over Aran Islands with shadow of aircraft
#IslandNews - "It’s like Groundhog Day"… reports RTE News as residents on the Aran Islands could be forgiven a touch of dark humour this week, after it emerged that the contract to operate daily flights to and from the mainland…
The specially designed Clochan huts on Inis Mór
#Glamping - Kayaking and yoga on the Loop Head Peninsula is among the coastal offerings included in The Irish Times’ selection of Ireland’s top ‘glamping’ spots. Aside from the aforementioned Purecamping experience on the Wild Atlantic Way, perhaps a stay…
Sponges found on the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone using the ROV Holland I during the recent TOSCA expedition
#MarineScience - A multinational team of ocean exploration experts returned to Galway on World Ocean Day (Friday 8 June) after spending the last few weeks exploring and mapping the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Using the robotic mini-sub…
Little Skellig hosts Ireland’s largest colony of northern gannets
#MarineWildlife - Concerns have been raised over the levels of plastic pollution at an important gannet colony on the smallest of the Skellig Islands. As The Irish Times reports, discarded plastic waste – including parts of old fishing gear in…

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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