Marine Institute

Ireland's Coastal Communities

In Ireland, 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast and many communities along our coast depend on industries such as tourism, fishing and aquaculture. At the Marine Institute, we support Ireland's coastal communities and economies, through our research, ocean knowledge, infrastructure and advisory services.

The Gaeltacht constitutes 25% of the overall Irish coastline. Gaeltacht communities have depended greatly on the sea and have developed specialisations in fishing and aquaculture. Údarás na Gaeltachta supports coastal communities through a range of incentives as well as businesses in tourism, seafood processing, aquaculture and renewable energy. Find out more about Údarás na Gaeltachta and marine businesses in the videos below.

Lighthouses are located around the coast of Ireland, with 70 still playing a vital role in maritime safety today. Commissioners of Irish Lights manage all the lights, buoys and beacons around our coast and ensure that mariners, sailors and ships can safely navigate our waters. Discover more about the Commissioners of Irish Lights in the videos below, and colour in the twelve Great Lighthouses of Ireland.

Discover the animals, seaweeds, plants and creatures along the seashore with the Explorers Education Programme's Seashore Guide Work Book. Become a seashore explorer and locate and identify seashore animals and seaweeds around Ireland. Find out more about different habitats found in Galway Bay, with information and activities from Galway City Museum and 'The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science' exhibition.

Take a look at the series of illustrations that capture the importance of the ocean to coastal communities in Ireland and Wales, developed as part of the BlueFish project. View videos on the Marine Institute's shellfish safety programme and our coastal economy, download posters and colouring activities about the marine life found along Ireland's coast. 

To find out more, dive deep into the Oceans of Learning resources available below: