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Latest Environment Stories
Suspicion Grows Clam was Deliberately Introduced to the Barrow
The finding of “a well-established, high-density colony” of the freshwater Asian clam in the river Barrow at St Mullins, south Co Carlow, has alarmed fisheries officials and wildlife experts. Michael Parson has the full story in The Irish Times. Dr…
New Cork Chart for RIBs
Admiralty Leisure, which is part of the UK Hydrographic Office is currently expanding the range of Tough Charts and the latest to be published is a Tough Chart of Cork to Kinsale which will be available next month.  The new…
Youghal Marina Planned
A marina is planned for Buttimers Dock in the heart of Youghal boosting moorings in the south coast town from 2 visitor moorings to 56 berths. Although still at the planning stage the building of the marina is to commence…
New Pontoon Jetty Application for Kinvara
An application for foreshore licene in Galway has been made in this morning's Irish Times. Joe Brady of Tarrea Queen Enterprises Limited has applied for a permission to occupy an area of foreshore under the foreshore act at Tarrea Pier,…
Inshore Weather forecasts from Malin Head, Republic of Ireland from 1st April 2010
The UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency has been working with the Irish Coastguard over the winter months in trialling the broadcast of weather information from the Irish Navtex site at Malin Head. The trials were supported throughout by the United…
Smart Economy of the Seas
A major innovation strategy, designed to bring together two of Ireland’s greatest assets – its ICT sector and marine natural resources - in order to tap into emerging global markets, was released today (Monday 22nd March) for consultation at the…
Brown Crab: Safe and Sustainable from Catch to Table
In the region of 9,000 tonnes of edible brown crab are caught by Irish fishermen each year with a value of over €9 million, making this one of the most important sectors of the Irish Fishing industry. As the Competent…
Doolin Pier Tenders Sought
Clare County Council is advertising for tenders for the construction of a new pier at Doolin in Co. Clare. More here. Both the planning application and the foreshore licence application are underway for the 6 million Euro project.
'Reinstate Dept of Marine': IMF
Coastal maritime communities should push for the reinstatement of the Department of the Marine. That's just one of the aims of of a new initiative by the Irish Marine Federation, in the clearest expression yet of the need for a…
Special Yacht Charter Deals in Croatia
Activity Yachting holidays have some early season Sailing Specials in Croatia. From their base on Murter they will be operating a Flexible Flotilla/Free-Sailing programme during the three weeks from 24th April to 15th May allowing people to start on any…
Coroner Wants Cliff Walk Fenced Off
A coroner has called for a section of a popular cliff-top path in north Co Dublin to be fenced off after two people fell to their death at the same spot in a year. Gerogina O'Halloran reports in the Irish…
Irish Whale and Dolphin Group Online Conference Tomorrow
Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) Sightings Co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley will be presenting at this weekend's TEDX event in the West Cork Hotel, Skibereen, Co. Cork tomorrow which will be streamed live on the internet and can be viewed here.
Expansion at Scotland's Oban Marina
With a total investment of £110,000 on the latest phase of developments at Oban Marina on the Isle of Kerrera, the marina is set for another successful season. Varis Engineering from Inverness supplied 24 new 12-metre finger pontoons that have…
Afloat.ie: Underwater Kites to Create Power
TIDAL POWER IN IRELAND: A tidal energy company spun out from Swedish car and plane manufacturer Saab plans to deploy its underwater kite-like devices off the coast of Northern Ireland next year. Minesto believes that unlike many existing tidal power…
Afloat.ie: New ‘Decade of Discovery’ for Irish Marine Science
2010 opens a new ‘decade of discovery’ for Irish Marine Science, according to Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Mr. Tony Killeen T.D. who visited the national marine research vessel R.V. Celtic Explorer in Galway…
Afloat.ie: Scientists and Fishermen Join Forces on Fisheries Science
A study to record the wealth of knowledge possessed by fishermen for the better management of fish stocks is underway on the prawn grounds around the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. The study, which is led by Dr Brendan Flynn…

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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