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Latest Environment Stories
Investment Boost For Ireland’s Renewable Energy Sector Under Innovation Strategy
Seven renewable energy projects are benefitting from a significant funding injection following investment by the Marine Institute’s industry-led awards, as reported last month on Afloat.ie. With the aim of driving innovation in the marine sector and accelerating renewable energy breakthroughs,…
Whale & Dolphin Strandings In Cork This Week ‘Only A Percentage Of What Is Actually Dead At Sea’
#MarineWildlife - Unusual weather for this time of year may be responsible for a recent spate of whale and dolphin strandings on the Cork coast in the past week. The Irish Examiner reports that among the eight strandings were the…
Banna Strand on Tralee Bay is TripAdvisor users’ favourite of Kerry’s beaches this year — but loses out on the top spot to Inchydoney in Cork
#TopBeaches - Kerry dominates TripAdvisor’s list of the best Irish beaches for 2019, with the Kingdom taking six of the top 10 places. Ladies Beach at Ballybunion (9th), Coumeenoole (6th), Derrynane (5th) and Inch Beach (3rd) all make return appearances…
Irish Ocean Literacy Network members at the meeting held at the Marine Institute in Galway last week
The Irish Ocean Literacy Network held its sixth national meeting last Wednesday 20 February at the Marine Institute in Galway, where keynote speakers Dr Easkey Britton — surfer and post doc fellow at NUI Galway — and filmmaker Ken O’Sullivan of…
Tidal kites like these have been tested in the optimum conditions of Strangford Lough over the last few years
#SeaPower - Northern Ireland is well placed to capitalise on the growing trend towards renewable energy thanks to its unique tidal resources, according to a leading researcher in the field. Dr Carwyn Frost of Queen’s University Belfast tells Emily McDaid…
RV Corystes, Northern Ireland's research vessel berthed in Belfast Harbour in support of the NI Science Festival. The annual festival with family events, kicked off last week and continues to 24 February.
#marinescience - RV Corystes, Northern Ireland's research vessel is currently berthed in Belfast Harbour in support of the NI Science Festival. RV Corystes operated by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) is docked on Queen’s Quay, downriver from central Belfast along…
Humpback whales fluking in Skalfandi Bay, Iceland
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is bringing stories from the Celtic Mist’s historic marine wildlife survey voyage around Iceland to libraries and other venues nationwide. Already the IWDG has visited 10 venues across eight counties in its ‘On…
Cape Clear Among 26 European Islands to Launch Clean Energy Transition
Today, 26 European islands have officially launched their clean energy transition with the support of the European Commission’s Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat. In a first phase, 6 islands, the Aran Islands (Ireland) Cres-Lošinj (Croatia), Sifnos (Greece), Culatra (Portugal),…
Laurel Hill winners at the third Shannon Foynes Port Company ‘Compass’ TY competition for Transition year students as seen alongside quays at the Port of Foynes in Co. Limerick
#marinescience - One of Ireland’s maritime commercial hubs, Foynes, in Co Limerick was where innovation was in rich supply as schools presented ground-breaking concepts for sustainable energy sources of the future. The schools congregated at the biennial Shannon Foynes Port Company…
Seabins like this one will soon be seen in harbours and marinas along the Antrim coast
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has voted unanimously to approve the installation of water-cleaning Seabins along the coastline north of Belfast Lough, as the Larne Times reports. Harbours and marinas from Carrickfergus to Carnlough are now expected to benefit…
A view of the Shannon estuary near the site of the proposed LNG plant
#coastal - At the High Court it is expected to rule next week on its judicial review on extending planning permission to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the Shannon Estuary. The judicial review hearings reports the Limerick…
Waves ‘As High As Two Buses’ During Storm Erik: Irish Coast Guard
Waves as high as two buses battered a Russian vessel off Dingle yesterday (Friday 8 February) as the Irish Coast Guard launched a double rescue during Storm Erik. BreakingNews.ie reports on comments made by coastguard divisional controller Derek Flanagan regarding…
The fishing fleet in Howth, which could soon have cleaner surface waters with the proposed installation of two Seabins
#Seabin - Howth will be the latest Irish port to benefit from a revolutionary device designed to clean up harbour and marina waters. Independent.ie reports that local man Rowan Byrne has launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the installation…
Marine Environment Raised By More Than Half Of Submissions On New Planning Framework
More than half of submissions (53%) in the public consultation on the National Marine Planning Framework Baseline Report concerned the marine environment. Ports and shipping (44%), climate change (42%) and nature conservation (41%) were other important topics raised among the…
Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan shakes hands with Hans Ove Holmoey, managing director of Skipsteknisk AS, at the signing of the design contract for Ireland’s latest marine research vessel
#MarineScience - Ship design consultants Skipsteknisk AS of Ålesund, Norway have been awarded the contract to design the new state-of-the-art marine research vessel for Ireland. The new 50m research vessel due in 2022 will replace the RV Celtic Voyager and will…
Nimmo spotted on Monday 28 January with Mutton Island in the background
#MarineWildlife - Galway residents have a great opportunity to see a wild dolphin close to the city centre with the return of regular visitor to the Nimmo’s Pier area this week. Nicknamed Nimmo, the solitary bottlenose dolphin was first sighted…

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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