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Latest Environment Stories
Catherine Jordan will speak at tomorrow’s Soapbox Science event at Galway’s Spanish Arch
PhD student Catherine Jordan will bring her research on phytoplankton blooms to the third annual Soapbox Science even in Galway tomorrow afternoon (Saturday 29 June). She will be among 12 female scientists standing on their soapboxes to talk about their…
The porbeagle shark caught and released off West Cork last Tuesday
Don’t be fooled by the fearsome appearance of the shark above — as while it may look like a great white, it’s actually a different species, and one not often seen in Irish waters. The seven-foot, 300lb porbeagle shark was…
The RV Celtic Voyager had a day trip on Galway Bay for Ocean Sampling Day on Friday 21 June
Scientists and students at NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute enjoyed a day trip on the Marine Institute’s research vessel RV Celtic Voyager on Friday (21 June) to take part in Ocean Sampling Day 2019. Ocean Sampling Day is a simultaneous sampling…
Newly Connected Arranmore Appeals Around The World For New Residents
The community of Arranmore is appealing to people around the world to consider bolstering their numbers on the island off Co Donegal. The Gaeltacht island, northwest of Dungloe, recently became Ireland’s first offshore digital hub thanks to Three Ireland’s mobile…
The property comprising the two cottages and outbuildings, adjacent to the now automated lighthouse on Rathlin O’Birne Island
Just €75,000 is the asking price for two fixer-upper lightest keeper’s cottages on a Donegal island, as BreakingNews.ie reports. The cottages, which boast six bedrooms between them, are located on Rathlin O’Birne Island, some three nautical miles west of the…
The lion's mane jellyfish is also known as the giant jellyfish or hair jelly
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has put up warning signs in the lifeguarded area of Sandycove in south Dublin after sightings of lion’s mane jellyfish in the water. Though the notice was put in place yesterday (Thursday 13 June), it’s emerged…
Evelyn Cusack, Doug Allan and Ken O'Sullivan, speakers in the Marine Institute’s Wild Atlantic Theatre at SeaFest 2019
Ireland’s largest free family-friendly maritime celebration attracted thousands of visitors to the port and city of Cork this past weekend. Cork was transformed into a giant interactive ‘sea world’ for the three days of SeaFest 2019, and the port was…
Minister for Marine Micheal Creed and Dr Stephen Hynes co-author of the report and Director of SEMRU (NUIG) discussing the latest figures from the 2019 Ireland's Ocean Economy Report which was launched yesterday above at Cork City Marina.
The Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) at NUI Galway has released its latest update on the performance of Ireland’s Ocean Economy. Coinciding with the Our Ocean Wealth Summit and the Government’s Annual Review of its Integrated Marine Plan – Harnessing…
Tánaiste welcomes leaders from 31 small island developing states for Our Ocean Wealth Summit held in Cork. Below: White Bay Beach in Cork Harbour
The Irish state is particularly aware of the threat climate change poses through sea level rises, given its island status, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said. As The Irish Times reports, Mr Coveney and Minister for the Marine Michael Creed are…
Breaching humpbacks in Cape Verde this past April
Sixteen years after the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) first attempt to find the origins of Ireland’s humpback whales, a chance excursion on the latest expedition to Cape Verde has finally revealed the breeding grounds for these threatened marine…
Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries resource, at the River Erriff which is the National Salmonid Index Catchment
Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries resource, visited the River Erriff in Co Mayo recently to understand more about the current issues facing Ireland’s salmon. Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has designated the River Erriff, one…
Dublin Bay prawn on subtidal sand at South Rigg in the Irish Sea, one of the UK’s new marine protected areas
Forty-one new marine conservation zones on England’s coast will create a ‘blue belt’ of protected waters for marine wildlife eight times the size of greater London, as the Guardian reports. The string of new protected areas runs from Bournemouth to…
A Spanish fishing vessel has pleaded guilty to catches of Blue Shark off the Irish coast
Irish shark experts have called on newly elected MEPs to outlaw the growing shark fin fishery in European waters, following a fine imposed on a Spanish fishing vessel detained off the Irish coast. The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) has…
The Empress of Britain as seen in 1931. Nine years later it was bombed and torpedoed by the Nazis off Donegal
“Substantial progress” is being made in the recovery of gold bullion from a ship wrecked off Donegal nearly 80 years ago, as RTÉ News reports. Atlantic Subsea Ventures is involved in the salvage operation at the Empress of Britain, a luxury…
SFI MaREI Centre director Prof Jerry Murphy with Prof Sarah Culloty, director of UCC’s Environmental Research Institute; Dr Jimmy Murphy, manager of the Lir National Ocean Test Facility; and Dr Cian Desmond, UCC research fellow and chair of WESC 2019 at the launch of this year’s Wind Energy Science Conference
A major international wind energy science conference is coming to Ireland next month. The Wind Energy Science Conference (WESC) takes place over four days from 17-20 June at University College Cork and will bring 900 of the world’s leading wind…
Inland Fisheries Ireland chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne and Minister of State with responsibility for inland fisheries Seán Canney at the announcement of the new pilot programme for catch and release of bluefin tuna by a limited number of sea angling vessels
The rapid swimming migratory Atlantic bluefin tuna may be targeted by a limited number of Irish recreational craft under a pilot scientific research programme run by several State agencies writes Lorna Siggins. Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and the Marine Institute are…

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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