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Latest Environment Stories
Celtic Mist in Iceland in June 2018
To celebrate the recent Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) expedition to Iceland in May-July 2018 onboard Celtic Mist, the IWDG will be undertaking a tour of Ireland to share stories, images and videos of this exciting and challenging marine…
Climate change is upping the threat of erosion around Ireland's coast, with hundreds of homes across three counties particularly at risk
Climate change is accelerating the threat of coastal erosion for more than 40,000 people living in coastal communities, according to the Irish Independent. The warning comes from a new report commissioned by local authorities, and produced by the MaREI Centre…
Fruitcake, rescued earlier this month in Co Waterford, is one of the many seals in the care of Seal Rescue Ireland this Christmas period
Seal Rescue Ireland has been awarded €15,000 in funding for its animal welfare efforts going into 2019. The Courtown, Co Wexford-based organisation is one of 108 that received funding awards from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that…
Dr Gerard McCarthy of Maynooth University (centre) with Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan (left) and Marine Minister Michael Creed
#MarineScience - Marine Minister Minister Creed has welcomed the announcement of €2 million from the Marine Institute and the European Regional Development Fund for a major project on Atlantic climate change. Led by Dr Gerard McCarthy of the ICARUS Climate…
Taoiseach and ministers at the announcement of the inaugural round of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund
Marine Minister Creed has welcomed the announcement of over €5 million in funding for marine and agri-food projects under the Government’s Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund. The inaugural funding call, announced yesterday (Monday 10 December) by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Innovation…
 Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan, Fishmonger Pat O'Connell and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD review the 2018 Marine Institute Annual Stock Book, which is one of the principal annual publications of the Institute, providing the latest impartial scientific advice on commercially exploited fish stocks of interest to Ireland.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D., has received the 2018 Marine Institute Annual Stock Book. The Stock Book, which is one of the principal annual publications of the Institute, provides the latest impartial scientific advice…
Irish Ferries’ flagship Ulysses will not be sailing this afternoon or tonight due to the warning for gale-force winds on the Irish Sea
Irish Ferries has cancelled all further sailings to and from Dublin and Holyhead today (Friday 7 December) on the foot of a Status Orange gale warning for Irish coastal waters and the Irish Sea. The warning from Met Éireann issued…
Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine Michael Creed TD with Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan and Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Eireann at the investment of €700,000 in the Marine Data Buoy Network in 2018.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Minister Creed T.D., has announced an investment of over €0.7m in the Marine Data Buoy Network. The additional funding will provide for both ongoing operations and a significant upgrading of the existing…
Bulloch Harbour in Dalkey, marks a Bicentenary this year since construction began in 1818 by the Ballast Board (now Dublin Port Company) and to celebrate a series of talks will be held in the Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre. Sadly the harbour hewn out of local granite suffered structural damage, not from the recent ravages of Storm Diana, but mostly attributed to Storm Emma in March. The area is unsafe for public use and access according to DPC which issued on Thursday an updated Notice to Mariners No. 31 (see below). Fortunately, repair works began last month involving lifting of tonnes of displaced granite blocks onto the main pier breakwater where works will continue to January 2019. Afloat highlights the area has been cordoned off on this breakwater, battered the most given the exposure of Dublin Bay.
#Bullock200 - The scenic south Dublin Bay harbour at Bulloch, Dalkey, is where construction on the stone-cut structure began in the winter 1818/19 and to celebrate the 200th anniversary a series of talks as Afloat previously highlighted will continue to…
Connemara Airport is Aer Arann Islands’ base on the mainland
#IslandNews - Air service between the Aran Islands and the mainland has been saved for two more weeks after a short-term tender was agreed, as The Irish Times reports. Aer Arann Islands gave notice in June that it would terminate…
The dolphin spotted in the River Liffey earlier today
A dreary, stormy day in Dublin city centre was brightened with the appearance of a common dolphin swimming up the River Liffey as far as the Loopline Bridge. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says it got its first…
James Fahy (UCD), Martina Maloney (Marine Institute) and Philip Stephens (NUIG) at the Cullen Fellowship Programme event in Oranmore last week
Nineteen postgraduates presented their marine research highlighting the innovation and contributions being made towards the growth of the marine sector in Ireland at the Cullen Fellowship Programme’s two-day annual meeting last week. Dr Peter Heffernan, chief executive of the Marine…
Balbriggan Harbour looking south. It has its own special history, but now it is planned to link it more closely with the town.
When you’ve an ancient port town which happens to have the youngest population in all Ireland, clearly you face problems when the local authority proposes plans to upgrade the old harbour area to bring it more in line with the…
Gale Warning For Irish Coastal Waters As Storm Diana Comes To Batter The Country
Met Éireann says a Status Yellow gale warning is in effect on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea as of 6am this morning (Tuesday 27 November) as the first of two waves of stormy weather conditions passes…
Pupils and teachers from St Colman’s Community College in Cork receive their School of the Year award
St Colman’s Community College in Midleton, Co Cork was named School of the Year in the recent Ocean Hero Awards presented by the Clean Coasts programme at the Clayton Hotel Cork City recently. This year Clean Coasts’ Ocean Hero Awards…
The whale research yacht Song of the Whale joined the RV Celtic Voyager in carrying out acoustic surveys of Irish offshore waters with GMIT researchers
The Beluga whale — a species mainly found in the Arctic Circle — has been recorded in Irish territorial waters as part of a groundbreaking three-year research project into our offshore habitats for marine wildlife. On Friday (23 November) the…

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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