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Latest Environment Stories
Common limpets found across the Irish Sea in Pembrokeshire, Wales
#MarineScience - Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have identified ‘super healing’ capabilities in limpets, as Trinity News reports. The small molluscs, which can be found in coastal areas all around the world, were studied for a paper in the Journal…
Whale watching at Loop Head with the IWDG’s Dr Simon Berrow
#MarineWildlife - The Papal visit brought numbers down for 2018’s Whale Watch Ireland last Saturday (25 August). But some 950 wildlife enthusiasts still came out to 19 sites around the island of Ireland for the chance to spot some of…
More Than 150 Lion’s Mane Jellyfish Recorded Along West Coast This Summer
#Jellyfish - A whopping 157 lion’s mane jellyfish were recorded along the West Coast this summer, according to figures from the National Biodiversity Data Centre. And as Galway Bay FM reports, more than a third of these sightings (61) were…
The chair was among flotsam and jetsam salvaged by islanders on Great Blasket after the Lusitania was torpedoed off Ireland in May 1915
#Lusitania - A deck chair recovered from the wreck of the Lusitania by Blasket islanders and restored a century later is planned for public display, as RTÉ News reports. Master craftsman Pat Broderick says he was able to save most…
Photos of some of the 16 strandings sent to the IWDG by members of the public
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has expressed concern in the wake of at least 16 Cuvier’s beaked whales washing up on the Irish coast this month. Following the discovery of five beaked whales in a single…
Volunteers removed half a ton of marine litter from Ireland's Eye
Seastainability and Clean Coasts coordinated a specialised clean-up of Ireland’s Eye off the fishing village of Howth, Co. Dublin. Ken of Ireland’s Eye Ferries offered his support by ferrying 23 volunteers to the island to undertake the mass clean up.…
The scene in north Wales as a fire devastates a workshop premises in Holyhead Marina.
#CoastalNotes - In north Wales, fire crews BBC News reports have been fighting a large blaze at a workshop on Holyhead Marina. An eyewitness said "30ft high flames" were coming out of the roof of a marine engineering workshop after…
Microplastic particles observed in phytoplankton samples from net hauls on the month-long survey of UK and Irish waters
#MarineScience - Blooms of toxin-producing algae and unprecedented levels of microplastic particles were detected in a recent oceanic survey carried out by scientists from the Marine Institute. Bristling with sensors and state-of-the-art technology, the German research vessel RS Heincke completed…
Replacement girder trusses are fabricated at Gallas Foundry, Isle of Man as part of the restoration of Ramsey Pier - pictured is fabricator Matthew Collister
#IslandNews  - On the Isle of Man, sparks fly as a new future for Ramsey Pier is forged. Fabrication of five replacement lattice trusses writes IOMToday, will support the decking of the Victorian landmark’s first bay is under way at…
All-Ireland Whale Watch Day Is A Week Away
#MarineWildlife - Ireland’s annual whale watch day takes place next Saturday 25 August — and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group invites the public to join its land-based whale watches around the island of Ireland. From 2pm to 5pm next…
Starting tomorrow, National Heritage Week (18-26 August) where among events will be those of a 'nautical' theme and activities taking place throughout the country
#HeritageWeek - Its that time of year again as National Heritage Week (18-26 August) begins tomorrow. Numerous events on land will be held across the country in addition to those of a nautical theme and directly taking place at sea.…
Survey Says Just 8% Of Irish Waterside Spots Are Litter-Free
#Litter - Only 8% of beaches, harbours and rivers in Ireland can be considered clean, according to the first national survey on littering at waterside spots. An Taisce investigated 50 sites nationwide on behalf of the Irish Business Against Litter…
Maude Delap in 1950
#MarineScience - Pioneering marine biologist Maude Delap is the focus of an exhibition celebrating her work at her former home of Valentia Island this Saturday (18 August), as The Irish Times reports. The self-taught Delap, who was born in Donegal…
The previously unseen rocks on the shore of Lickeen Lake in North Clare that indicate that the lake may have been formed along a zone of folded and faulted rock that resulted from continental collision almost 300 million years ago
Recent low water levels due to the prolonged drought have revealed previously unseen rocks on the shore of Lickeen Lake that indicates the North Clare lake may have been formed along a zone of folded and faulted rock that resulted…
Doolin ‘is in pristine condition’, says local Eugene Garrihy, despite a new report claiming otherwise.
#CoastalNotes - Eugene Garrihy a Clare businessman writes The Irish Examiner has criticised the results of a new survey that has labelled Doolin a “litter blackspot." Mr Garrihy, father of Dancing with the Stars celeb and Fair City actor Aoibheann…
Ireland demonstrates its abilities in cutting-edge research in extreme environments during the Controls of Coldwater Coral Habitats in Submarine Canyons II (CoCoHaCa2) survey led by UCC-led scientists on board the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer
#MarineScience - A UCC-led group of scientists from across the globe have revealed a submarine canyon on the edge of Ireland’s continental shelf, 320km west of Dingle, after mapping an area twice the size of Malta. The group returned last…

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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