Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Marine Environment, Science, wildlife, weather & Ocean energy
Aerial view of Cork Harbour and the Port of Cork
The ESB and the Port of Cork Company have signed a memorandum of understanding regarding joint plans for Ireland’s offshore wind and green hydrogen development, as the Irish Examiner reports. A key factor of Port of Cork’s masterplan is aiming…
Erebus will be Wales’ first floating offshore wind farm and a key enabler of floating wind in the Celtic Sea. It will allow the local supply chain to ramp up its capabilities to participate in the larger Celtic Sea projects which will follow. This, in turn, will allow the local regions to capture and not lose the huge economic dividends that floating wind offers. Simply Blue conceived Erebus over five years ago
Hugh Kelly, Co-Founder and Group Managing Director of Cork-based renewable energy firm Simply Blue Group, congratulated the Blue Gem Wind team on securing a marine licence for the 100MW Erebus project off the coast of Wales. "We are incredibly proud of…
Dubai, UAE headquartered P&O Maritime Logistics aim to decarbonise the logistics and maritime sector, as part of this they are to converting one of their Multi Carrying Vessels (MCVs) into a Cable-Laying Vessel (CLV) to expand operations globally with building offshore wind farms. Asides this development, AFLOAT adds that P&O Maritime Logistics has offices including Galway from where they provide full-service management for the Marine Institute’s research vessels including newbuild RV Tom Crean.
Dubai, UAE based P&O Maritime Logistics, has announced plans to convert one of their Multi-Carrying Vessels (MCV’s) into a Cable-Laying Vessel (CLV) for use in the renewable energy sector.  Powered by alternative energy, the vessel will be the first-of-its-kind within…
Small scale French fishing vessels
Two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have dubbed the European Commission’s action plans for biodiversity and climate change in ocean and fisheries as “inaction plans”. NGOs Birdwatch Ireland and Our Fish were responding to the European Commission’s publication of four EU action…
EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius
EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius say the EU wants to establish a “pact for fisheries and oceans” to ensure sustainable fisheries, protect and restore marine ecosystems and strengthen long-term food security. The Commissioner was commenting as the European Commission…
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney will be quizzed on the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2023 at an Oireachtas committee on Wednesday (Feb 22) The Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action has invited Mr Coveney, a former…
The winning team “Power Up” Back row, L to R: Manuel Bruch, PhD student and event organising team, UCD; Ikechukwu Ogbu, ATU – Galway; Martin Walsh, Derek Thorton, Lecturer, ATU Galway, Dr Rick Officer, Vice President for Research and Innovation, ATU; and James Briton, PhD Student and event organizing team, UCD. Middle Row, L to R: Orla Skehill, learning Technologist, ATU; Damien Toner; Tenis Tanjan, Frank Kane, Gail Quinn, HR Leader & HRBP EMEA, Trane Technologies. Front row, L to R: Dr Jack Saad; Dr Carine Gachon, Head of Transcend and Event organising team; Edbin Ostilio Buezo Zuniga; Ontiretse Ishmael; Xing Ying Chuang; Dr Orla Flynn, ATU President; Peter Turley, Corporate Sales Speaker and Trainer.
A student team has won the Irish leg of an international contest for a design that draws on hydropower and wind power to generate electricity stored in a battery. The “affordable clean energy generator system” uses both hydropower and wind…
The Corrib Gas field off the coast of County Mayo
A Mayo TD has called for windfall tax on profits of the Corrib gas field to be ring-fenced for the Erris region of north Mayo. Sinn Féin TD Rose Conway Walsh said the company trebled profits in the first six…
Logos of The Environmental Pillar, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition and the Sustainable Water Network (SWAN)
In a letter sent to Irish ministers and other elected officials last week, three NGOs call on the Government to amend mandates and legislation to ensure public bodies are fit to deliver on Ireland’s climate, biodiversity and water objectives. The…
IWDG Whale Tales 2023 banner
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) have opened their annual gathering to all for its 2023 edition. This year’s Whale Tales will be hosted by CECAS, the Centre of Excellence for Climate Action in the West Cork village of…
The second annual Seafarers’ Conference with the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) at the Castletroy Park, Hotel, also on February 23rd
Three national marine events take place in Limerick next week, involving offshore wind energy, aquaculture and the fishing industry. On the eve of the Irish Skipper Expo at the University of Limerick (UL), IFA Aquaculture is hosting its annual conference…
Ghostship: MV Alta was washed near Ballycotton, east Cork after Storm Dennis struck Ireland in February 2020. Since the incident, sea and weather has led the ship to breaking up with the aft section above on the rocky coast.
A ghost ship which washed ashore in Irish waters three years ago, which led to a report as to what to do with the abandoned 80m freight vessel on the east Cork coast, has still not been completed. In the…
Jared Peters, Head of Green Rebel’s Marine division
Cork Harbour Offshore specialists Green Rebel will today (Thursday) share their techniques for mapping and identifying areas of the seabed suitable for wind farm developments with experts from across the globe. The company provides site investigation services to the offshore…
Patrick Murphy (52) is chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (IS&WFPO) and a Heir island native
Fishing industry representative Patrick Murphy intends to contest the next European elections in the Ireland South constituency. Murphy who is chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (IS&WFPO), may also stand for the local elections next…
Juvenile giant limpets reproduced by University of Corsica Stella Mare research centre scientists
Marine scientists at the University of Corsica say they have mastered the reproduction of the giant limpet as part of a ten-year research programme on vulnerable species. This could “pave the way for a large-scale ecological restoration” in the Mediterranean…
Inis Mor on the Aran Islands off the Coast of Galway. A sum of 0.5 million euros has been earmarked specifically for islands as part of a 12.5 million euro national scheme for repairs and improvements on rural roads and laneways
Funding for roads on Ireland’s offshore islands is to be “ring-fenced” for the first time under a scheme announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys. A sum of 0.5 million has been earmarked specifically for islands as…

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

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!


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 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.

Changing Ocean Climate

Our ocean and climate are inextricably linked - the ocean plays a crucial role in the global climate system in a number of ways. These include absorbing excess heat from the atmosphere and absorbing 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity. But our marine ecosystems are coming under increasing pressure due to climate change.

The Marine Institute, with its national and international partners, works to observe and understand how our ocean is changing and analyses, models and projects the impacts of our changing oceans. Advice and forecasting projections of our changing oceans and climate are essential to create effective policies and management decisions to safeguard our ocean.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, “Our ocean is fundamental to life on earth and affects so many facets of our everyday activities. One of the greatest challenges we face as a society is that of our changing climate. The strong international collaborations that the Marine Institute has built up over decades facilitates a shared focusing on our changing ocean climate and developing new and enhanced ways of monitoring it and tracking changes over time.

“Our knowledge and services help us to observe these patterns of change and identify the steps to safeguard our marine ecosystems for future generations.”

The Marine Institute’s annual ocean climate research survey, which has been running since 2004, facilitates long term monitoring of the deep water environment to the west of Ireland. This repeat survey, which takes place on board RV Celtic Explorer, enables scientists to establish baseline oceanic conditions in Irish waters that can be used as a benchmark for future changes.

Scientists collect data on temperature, salinity, water currents, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Atlantic Ocean. This high quality oceanographic data contributes to the Atlantic Ocean Observing System. Physical oceanographic data from the survey is submitted to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and, in addition, the survey contributes to national research such as the VOCAB ocean acidification and biogeochemistry project, the ‘Clean Atlantic’ project on marine litter and the A4 marine climate change project.

Dr Caroline Cusack, who co-ordinates scientific activities on board the RV Celtic Explorer for the annual survey, said, “The generation of long-term series to monitor ocean climate is vital to allow us understand the likely impact of future changes in ocean climate on ecosystems and other marine resources.”

Other activities during the survey in 2019 included the deployment of oceanographic gliders, two Argo floats (Ireland’s contribution to EuroArgo) and four surface drifters (Interreg Atlantic Area Clean Atlantic project). The new Argo floats have the capacity to measure dissolved ocean and biogeochemical parameters from the ocean surface down to a depth of 2,000 metres continuously for up to four years, providing important information as to the health of our oceans.

During the 2019 survey, the RV Celtic Explorer retrieved a string of oceanographic sensors from the deep ocean at an adjacent subsurface moored station and deployed a replacement M6 weather buoy, as part of the Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network (IMDBON).

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the IMDBON is managed by the Marine Institute in collaboration with Met Éireann and is designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland. The data buoys have instruments which collect weather and ocean data including wind speed and direction, pressure, air and sea surface temperature and wave statistics. This data provides vital information for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research.

“It is only in the last 20 years, meteorologists and climatologists have really began to understood the pivotal role the ocean plays in determining our climate and weather,” said Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann. “The real-time information provided by the Irish data buoy network is particularly important for our mariners and rescue services. The M6 data buoy in the Atlantic provides vital information on swell waves generated by Atlantic storms. Even though the weather and winds may be calm around our shores, there could be some very high swells coming in from Atlantic storms.”