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Latest Environment Stories
Bob the Buoy now has pride of place next to Valentia Lighthouse at Cromwell Point
#Buoys - After more than two decades of service as part of the Marine Institute’s national weather buoy network, the affectionately named ‘Bob the Buoy’ will see out his retirement as a permanent resident at Valentia Lighthouse. Bob withstood countless…
The discovery of five beaked whales in a single day has been described as 'highly unusual'
#MarineWildlife - Five dead whales have been found along Ireland's west coast and as BBC News reports, they may have been caused by naval sonar, an expert has said. Dr Simon Berrow, of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG),…
"Small Wonders" by Internationally published artist Karen Ingham who is to hold an exhibition 'Deluge' later this month in Milford Haven, south Wales. Deluge will depict the impact human activities are having on the planet’s ecosystem.
#MarineWildlife - Internationally published artist Karen Ingham will be holding an exhibition at Milford Waterfront, south Wales later this month depicting the impact human activities are having on the planet’s ecosystem. The exhibition ‘Deluge’ to be staged between 14th- 28th…
Ireland is nearing a time when we will have to rely on the kindness of strangers for supplies of natural gas given dwindling gas supplies notably at the Kinsale Gas Field. Afloat adds above Naval Service L.E. Róisín patrols with the backdrop of one of the facilities two production platforms offshore of Co. Cork.
#CoastalNotes - In the The Irish Times, Cantillon comments that The Irish Academy of Engineering is not a body given to over-reaction or wild predictions. In fact, the organisation behaves much like the professionals in its ranks, carefully assessing problems…
Photo montage illustrating the layout of the new cycle and walking route
#Coastal - Planning permission has been granted for a new coastal cycle and walking path between Baldoyle and Portmarnock, as The Irish Times reports. The new 1.8km path, which has much local support, will take cyclists off a narrow country…
ACT Blade uses technology developed by AMAR Azure for its racing yacht sails
#SeaPower - Edinburgh-based ACT Blade has designed a textile blade for wind turbines that could increase energy production by nearly 10%. The company, an offshoot of racing yacht sail specialist AMAR Azure, designed the blade as part of the Offshore…
Sea Tech Marine Broadband Transmission Set for World Record Books
A scientific experiment, conducted by SEA-Tech a Cork based SME, under the control of a group of reputable witnesses composed of maritime professionals and researchers is set to enter the record books. The purpose of the experiment was to set…
Scientists discover rare 'sponge reef' some 300 miles in Ireland's territorial waters in addition to new corals
#MarineWildlife - Marine scientists have found new discoveries after returning to Galway Port, having spent three weeks at sea investigating Ireland's deep ocean territory 300 miles off the west coast. The deep sea expedition involved the Marine Institute's remotely operated…
Smoke from the dune fire blows over the car park at Curracloe beach this afternoon
#Fire - A number of fire brigade units worked together to bring a blaze in the dunes at Curracloe beach in Co Wexford earlier today, Sunday 22 July. According to TheJournal.ie, the flames were at some points reaching 10 feet…
The Siem Stingray will carry out August’s deep water surveys and other works on the Corrib pipeline
#MarineNotice - Shell E&P Ireland Limited has begun a campaign of inspection of the Corrib Gas Field pipeline and associated infrastructure with repair and maintenance as required. Engineering tasks are also scheduled for well P3. The near shore pipeline inspection…
Rounding the Fastnet Rock, is part of regatta weeks in West Cork
Schull Regatta is among some 18 coastal community projects across County Cork from Baltimore to Fountainstown will benefit from €241,100 in funding this year. Another beneficiary is Passage West Maritime Museum that has received €18,555 for the redevelopment of the…
The huge iceberg in Greenland has drifted close to a village on the western coast, threatening residents in case it splits resulting in waves swamping homes.
#MarineScience - In Greenland, a huge iceberg has drifted close to a village on the western coast, prompting a partial evacuation in case it splits and the resulting wave swamps homes. The iceberg reports BBB News is looming over houses…
The hull of newbuild RRS Sir David Attenborough pushed a big wave out into the Mersey from the shipyard of Cammell Laird, Birkenhead. A yellow submarine named Boaty McBoatface forms part of the ship's sophisticated equipment.
#MarineScience - This afternoon Sir David Attenborough launched the 10,000-tonne hull of the UK's newest polar ship - named after him - into the River Mersey. The BBC reports the broadcaster pushed the button, sending the hull sliding out from…
The Celtic Mist spent four weeks surveying Iceland’s coast
#CelticMist - The Celtic Mist’s historic marine wildlife survey voyage to Iceland is complete, with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) recording nearly 100 sightings over the course of the month. The research yacht set sail with a crew of…
State Cannot Licence Seaweed Harvesting Where Rights Already Exists Says English
#Seaweed - The State cannot licence seaweed harvesting in a era where harvesting rights already exist. That is the official position of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, following “ongoing assessment of the legal interaction” between applications for…
RV Celtic Voyager
#MarineScience - Applications are open for shiptime in 2019 and 2020 on Ireland’s national research vessels Celtic Explorer and Celtic Voyager, as well as the ROV Holland I and the Laochra na Mara glider. Every year a broad range of…

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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