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Latest Environment Stories
A chain of salps beneath the surface of the Red Sea
Microplastic ingested by plankton may greatly impair our oceans’ natural carbon-capturing abilities, according to a new study from NUI Galway. Marine scientists at the university’s Ryan Institute found that microscopic particles of plastic waste in the world’s oceans are interfering…
The River Barrow at Bagenalstown, Co Carlow
Proposals for a new blueway along the River Barrow have been blocked by planners who objected to the scheme for a hard surface along the 115km of towpath. But as The Irish Times reports, many locals and users of the…
Lough Corrib, second largest lake in Ireland after Lough Neagh, which is the focus of a new community partnership to transform it into Ireland's lake district for walkers
Oscar Wilde’s surgeon dad waxed lyrical about it, Vikings lost their weapons in it, and poitín makers and anglers have shared their knowledge of its rocks and islands. The Corrib – this island’s second largest lake after Lough Neagh –…
Native white-clawed crayfish like this one have been threatened by outbreaks of crayfish plague
The Marine Institute in Oranmore, Co Galway will host an Irish Crayfish Seminar on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 May in response to recent outbreaks of crayfish plague in Ireland’s waterways. A series of talks by invited speakers from across…
The hotel is located right at Tory Island’s main harbour
A 14-room hotel on one of Ireland’s most remote and picturesque islands is now on the market for less than the asking price of many Dublin homes, as The Irish Times reports. Óstan Thóraigh has been the centre of life…
Baltimore RNLI launches during Storm Hannah
Lifeboats in Baltimore and Portaferry were launched yesterday evening (Friday 26 April) as Storm Hannah swept over the island of Ireland. Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 8.30pm after learning of a local fishing trawler that…
Status Red Upgrade For Co Clare As Storm Hannah Sweeps In
The weather warning issued by Met Éireann for Co Clare has been upgraded to the most severe Status Red as Storm Hannah is expect to brings gusts of up to 150km/h this evening (Friday 26 April). Meanwhile, the marine warning…
Small Craft Warning Ahead of Storm Hannah’s Arrival Tomorrow
Met Éireann has issued a Status Yellow small craft warning for Force 6 southerly winds later today and tonight (Thursday 25 April) on coasts from Belfast Lough to Howth Head to Carnsore Point ahead of Storm Hannah’s arrival tomorrow. A…
Milford Marina in south Wales has seen improvements carried out by the Port of Milford Haven which will enable faster access arrangement for its marina and dock customers. The Pembrokeshire port is the busiest in Wales and is the UK’s top energy port handling seaborne trade in oil and gas. The port also has a ferry service to Rosslare Harbour, Ireland operated by Irish Ferries.
#coastalnotes - The Port of Milford Haven, south Wales has completed further improvements to its lock gates at Milford Marina. The works by the port authority have created a more flexible and faster access arrangement for the marina and its…
Valentia Island Aims to Lead Way in Hydrogen Energy Use
#islandnews - An island off Co. Kerry is aiming to produce clean energy which could be used to power public lighting and propel its ferry service, among other uses. As the Irish Examiner writes, Valentia Island is planning to transform…
“The change in weather has been affecting the seed – we have had very little this year.” Mussel fisherman, Bangor, Wales, by Róisín Curé
A series of watercolour illustrations and interviews have captured the importance of the ocean to coastal communities in Ireland and Wales as part of the EU-funded BlueFish Project. Sharon Sugrue, scientific and technical officer at the Marine Institute, and Galway’s…
Freshwater pearl mussels Margaritifera margaritifera
Projects for pearl mussels and conservation of breeding curlew are among the 23 schemes being carried out nationwide under the European Innovation Partnership (EIP), as highlighted in a new exhibition in Dublin. Agriculture House on Kildare Street is currently showcasing…
Prof Andrew Bowie, TCD with Minister of State Sean Canney and Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland
Inland Fisheries Ireland and the School of Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU will enable both institutions to collaborate across fisheries research projects. Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for…
Coastal Patrol Vessel (CPV) LÉ Orla is one of a pair of Peacock class in the Irish Naval Service and is seen berthed yesterday in Kinsale Harbour. Vehicles of the Irish Coast Guard are parked on Customs Quay which AFLOAT adds is the sole commercial quay in the south-west Co. Cork harbour.
#coastalnotes - Communities along the coast reports Independent.ie have been warned that local intelligence is critical if Ireland is to win the battle against drug-smuggling gangs. Gardaí, Customs and Excise, and the Naval Service urged people suspicious of any activities…
John Kerry will deliver the keynote address in Cork
Former US Secretary of State John Kerry has been announced as a keynote speaker at Ireland’s flagship blue economy conference Our Ocean Wealth at City Hall Cork on June 9th & 10th. The determined environmentalist and former presidential candidate is…
Hoylake RNLI volunteers and other emergency services worked together to free the trapped horse on the Wirral coast
Horse riders and owners have been warned over taking their animals to beaches or mudflats after two separate rescue incidents in the UK in recent days Last Saturday (13 April) two horses and their riders were rescued from thick mud…

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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