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Latest Environment Stories
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…
Ireland Collaborating With Cyprus On Centre Of Excellence For Marine & Maritime Research
A new joint initiative between Ireland and Cyprus for a Centre of Excellence for Marine and Maritime Research has been awarded a €15 million grant from the European Commission. The funding under Horizon 2020: Widespread’s Coordination and Support Action call…
Spirtle is easily identified by her distinctive skin markings
Sightings of an unusual looking bottlenose dolphin off the East Coast in recent weeks have turned out to be a Scottish scrapper named Spirtle. Images of the dolphin seen off South Dublin and North Wicklow earlier this month showed what…
Marine Institute headquarters in Oranmore, Co Galway
The Marine Institute will welcome King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden to its headquarters in Oranmore today, Friday 24 May. The King and Queen of Sweden will be welcomed by Minister Seán Kyne, Government Chief Whip and Minister…
A sketch of the forthcoming Bord Iascaigh Mhara underwater garden at Bloom
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency, is returning to Bloom next week with a marine garden that highlights the need to protect our marine environment against plastic waste. The concept garden, supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries…
Ballot boxes were taken aboard the ferry to Árainn Mhór (Arranmore), Co. Donegal. Above AFLOAT adds is the wheelhouse of an Aranmore Ferry Co carferry which operates a 15 minutes service to and from Burtonport on the mainland.
RTE News reports that for more than 2,000 people who live off the coasts of Donegal, Mayo and Galway polling day in the Local and European elections is today. This is expected to be the last time that islanders will…
Rathmullan Marina in Co Donegal has been awarded its first ever Blue Flag for superior water quality
Three beaches in the North West have lost their Blue Flags in the latest round of awards from An Taisce. According to The Irish Times, the popular surfing haunt of Bundoran in Co Donegal, along with Bertra Strand and Golden…
An Irish Sailing 'team racing development programme' has been awarded a grant under the FLAG scheme
The Irish Youth Sailing Club is one of the recipients of grant funding awarded by Ireland’s seven Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) to 274 coastal based projects at the weekend. Another FLAG grant awardee from the world of Irish Sailing…
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Michael Creed
Over 270 coastal projects have been awarded grants totalling four million euro in EU and State funds just five days before the European Parliament elections. The grants to 274 projects across seven coastal regions were announced yesterday by Minister for Agriculture,…
The basking shark feeding on plankton in Keem Bay
One of the world’s largest sharks had become a regular visitor to an Achill Island beach, as Independent.ie reports. Local tourist officials have recorded almost daily sightings of the 20-plus-foot basking shark in the waters of Keem Bay over the…
Research Collaboration Highlighted At European Maritime Day
Chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan is representing the Marine Institute at European Maritime Day 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal this week. Concluding today, Friday 17 May, European Maritime Day is one of the largest marine science and policy meetings of 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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