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Latest Environment Stories
The pier at Inis Oírr
#IslandNews - A new pier for Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands is now on the cards, as Galway Bay FM reports. Minister of State Joe McHugh announced funding of €330,000 to appoint consultant engineers for the design and construction…
The proposal involves providing protection of the harbour from East/Northeast by restoring the south harbour wall to approximately where it was before the collapse of the pier end and Lighthouse in 1957
Bray Municipal District has agreed a plan and to provide funding for the rejuvenation of Bray Harbour on foot of a proposal made by The Bray Harbour Joint Development Committee. The proposal involves providing protection of the harbour from East/Northeast…
The Marine Institute’s Marine Environment and Food Safety (MEFS) team pictured last month
#MarineScience - The Marine Environment and Food Safety (MEFS) team of the Marine Institute has made the list of finalists for the Irish Laboratory Awards 2018. The MEFS team performs environmental monitoring and related laboratory services managed by four integrated…
The new humpback whale as spotted near Inchydoney on Saturday 31 March
#MarineWildlife - Amid a flurry of activity off the Bear Peninsula in West Cork last week was the discovery of a new humpback whale visitor to Irish waters. Using images captured by marine mammal observation officer Patrick Lyne near Inchydoney…
The Marine Institute’s research facility in Newport, Co Mayo
The Marine Institute’s Research Facility in Furnace, Newport, Co Mayo will open its doors on Saturday 14 April from 11am to 4pm. The open day is for all, and visitors will have the opportunity to view the facility for studying…
The Neprophs survey team on the RV Celtic Voyager this month
#MarineScience - A new survey sampling Nephrops larvae from the area west of the Aran Islands is currently being conducted for the first time aboard the RV Celtic Voyager. “Nephrops are more commonly known as Dublin Bay prawn, Norway lobster…
Schull Harbour in West Cork
The Department of the Marine is giving €112,500 for the installation of the pontoon which the local community has already procured at Schull in West Cork. Other West Cork locations are also to get funding for improvements - €56,250 for…
Marine Notice: Remedial Works At Bundoran Outfall
#MarineNotice - Marine Notice No 14 of 2018 advises that as part of the Donegal Group B Sewerage Scheme, remedial works are being carried out this week by Norfolk Marine at the Bundoran outfall in Donegal Bay. These works were…
Irish Deep Water Coral Reefs Changing Faster Than Previously Thought, Says New Research
#MarineScience - One of Ireland’s deep water coral reefs is changing at a rate of some 20% over four years, faster than previously thought. That’s according to new research published by Dr Aaron Lim of the Marine Geology Research Group…
The departure this day last week of cargoship Burhou I in Wicklow Port, however take a closer look and spot the head of seemingly 'Sammy the Seal'. The grey seal due to food-related antics!... has become a local celebrity and beyond given coverage has gone 'viral' in recent years.
#CoastalNotes - During Afloat's visit to Wicklow Port this day last week, seemingly Sammy the Seal made a fleeting appearance when alongside a departing cargoship, writes Jehan Ashmore. The departure that afternoon of Burhou-I involved the curious 'Sammy' or a…
Zooplankton like these were the focus of the Australian study
#MarineScience - New research raises questions over “significant disruption” to microscopic marine wildlife by seismic surveys — leading to calls for the Government to take notice. According to The Irish Times, Lorcán Ó Cinnéide of the Irish Fish Processors’ and…
New Data Reveals Higher Concentrations Of Ocean Microplastic Found Nearer Major Cities
#Microplastic - Using data collected by Volvo Ocean Race team Turn the Tide on Plastic, marine scientists have identified 75 particles of microplastic per cubic metre in waters near Hong Kong and 87 per cubic metre along the coast near…
Marine Notice: Acoustic Doppler Profiler Deployed In Aran Prawn Ground
Marine Notice No 12 of 2018 advises that the Marine Institute was scheduled to deploy a bottom-mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) on the Aran prawn ground today, Monday 26 March. The ADCP will be recovered in May and will…
Tory Island is home to a 150-strong community that feared for its future over the recent ferry link dispute
#IslandNews - Residents of Tory Island have voted in favour of a compromise proposal in their dispute with the State over a new ferry contract. As previously noted on Afloat.ie, people living on the island off the Donegal coast feared…
The Maritime Knowledge Hub (MKH) located at the Liverpool John Moores University (Birkenhead) . The University (which has other campus locations) is one of several core partners in the MKH alongside Mersey Maritime, Wirral Council and Peel Ports
#MarineScience - Liverpool city region according to Maritime Mersey, could reap the benefit of a massive expansion in the UK offshore wind sector between now an 2030. In partnership with the Government the UK offshore wind industry has unveiled plans…
Oceanology International 2018 took place at ExCeL London from 13-15 March
#BlueEconomy - Marine Minister Michael Creed this week visited the Oceanology International trade exhibition in London on day two of his six-day visit to the UK.  Held every two years, Oceanology International at ExCeL London is recognised as the leading…

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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