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Latest Environment Stories
The boat tourism sector sector has created close to £6bn in sales from boating-related tourism, a 65% growth since 2013, according to British Marine
New figures out today from British Marine, the leading trade association for the UK leisure marine industry, highlight how the marine sector has created close to £6bn in sales from boating-related tourism expenditure in 2018, a 65% growth since 2013.…
The female sperm whale beached at Streedagh Strand in Co Sligo
#MarineWildlife - A third sperm whale stranding on Ireland’s west coast within just a few days is now a cause for concern, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says. Following the discovery of two sperm whale carcasses on the same…
All Party Call to Rally Behind Irish Islands
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called on all Irish parties in the EU to support her amendment calling for funding for Irish islands in the European Parliament tomorrow. The Ireland South MEP made the call for cross-party support…
Appeal For Anglers To Become Citizen Scientists As Part Of National Salmon Scale Project
Anglers are needed as citizen scientists for a new National Salmon Scale Project, says Sean Canney TD, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector. Minister Canney said: “As we celebrate International Year of the Salmon, this project…
Irish Wastewater Schemes Fall Foul Of European Court of Justice
Almost 30 sewage schemes across Ireland fall short of EU directives on wastewater treatment, as The Green News reports. The European Court of Justice ruling from this past Thursday 28 March now means Ireland could be liable to significant fines…
Rang 2 children from Scoil Shéamais Naofa in Bearna get up close with the skin of a tope shark
Children from Rang 2 at Scoil Shéamais Naofa in Bearna got up close and personal with sharks on the RV Celtic Explorer as part of the Marine Institute’s outreach and engagement programme. The pupils completed a project module on sharks…
Michael Creed TD, Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine (left) talks to pilot farmers Padraig Connell, from Waterville and Colm Gavin from Leenane at the launch of the Pearl Mussel EIP Scheme at Glenbeg Lake, Ardgroom on the Bears Peninsula
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today launched a new €10m scheme to fund the conservation of the native freshwater pearl mussel. The launch took place in Ardgroom, Co. Cork and is the latest in…
The first strandings card, for a harbour porpoise on the Cork coast, dates from 13 February 1913
#MarineWildlife - The UK’s Natural History Museum has made available for the first time a vast trove of whale and dolphin stranding records in British and Irish waters. The data covers the years 1913 to 1989, filling in a significant…
An angler-caught shad, one of the fish species under observation in the new DiadES project
#MarineWildlife - A new project which aims to promote international action and co-operation to conserve vulnerable migratory fish species launched yesterday, Thursday 28 March. The DiadES initiative will see 30 partners from different countries participate in this European project, with…
Birds surround the sperm whale carcass spotted in the Atlantic some 100km west of Galway Bay on Monday
#MarineWildlife - The remains of two sperm whales have been spotted around Ireland in recent days. The first was sighted in the Atlantic Ocean some 100km west of the Aran Islands on Monday (25 March) by an Air Corps airman.…
The 330m Royal Princess  cruise ship arrives in Dublin in 2018 carrying more than 3,000 passengers and crew
Dublin Town, the not for profit organisation charged with creating a welcoming and economically viable city environment in Dublin, has urged Dublin Port to reconsider its decision to cut cruise ship calls to the city by more than 50%, from…
Go-ahead UK firm Wildwind is based in Vassiliki, Greece
Good news for Irish sailors planning a Greek sailing holiday. Go-ahead UK firm Wildwind, based in Vassiliki and run by Simon Morgan, is now offering free supplemental flights to London and accommodation at the Hilton Hotel in Gatwick during the early weeks…
Sea lettuce is a common sight on Irish shorelines
Nitrates and phosphates from intensified agriculture are a significant cause of so-called green and red tides in West Cork, according to a new report. Dr Liam Morrison, one of the researchers behind the NUI Galway study, tells the Southern Star…
Thomas Furey, INFOMAR; Stephane Crouzat, Ambassador of France in Ireland; Dr Paul Commolly, Marine Institute; and Attaché for Science and Technology Marc Daumas visit the Marine Institute Headquarters in Oranmore on Thursday 14 March
The Marine Institute recently welcomed the Ambassador of France in Ireland, Stephane Crouzat, and Attaché for Science and Technology Marc Daumas to its headquarters in Oranmore. The French delegation received a tour of the Marine Institute facility, and met with staff to…
Coypu are known for their large size compared to other river rodents
Waterways Ireland advises all users of sightings on the Royal Canal at Ashtown of a large invasive rodent species that is highly damaging to river, lake and canal banks. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the coypu — also known as the…
Ireland’s Eye off Howth lies just south of the proposed wastewater outfall pipeline
Planners are from today set to review proposals for a controversial €500 million wastewater treatment scheme in North Dublin, as The Irish Times reports. Clonshaugh near Dublin Airport was chosen in June 2013 as the site for the sewage ‘super plant’…

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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