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Displaying items by tag: marine science

#BoatyMcBoatface - Not so fast, Boaty McBoatface! Despite the public voicing their choice of name for Britain's latest marine research vessel, the UK's Science Minister has put the kibosh on that notion – to much disappointment online.

As reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, the head of the National Environment Research Council (NERC) was left with a dilemma after 'Boaty McBoatface' was the runaway winner in an public poll to name the £200 million (€253 million) polar research ship.

The online poll included nominations as worthy as Antarctic explorer Henry Worsley and renowned natural history broadcaster David Attenborough, and as smart-alecky as It's Bloody Cold Here.

But according to The Irish Times, the final decision rests with Science Minister Jo Johnson, who was diplomatic in saying that while the "imaginative" suggestions for names would be "reviewed", he favoured one that “captures the spirit of scientific endeavour”.

The reaction online has been swift, with the minister being branded an "anti-democrat, humorless spoilsport" for overruling the people, prompting some to call for the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron.

That's according to the Huffington Post, who also quoted former Royal Navy head Admiral Lord West on the 'controversy'.

“It’s the typical thing of Brits going mad," he said, "normally silly season, not at this time of year."

Published in News Update

#BoatyMcBoatface - The votes are in and 'Boaty McBoatface' is the clear choice in a public poll to name a new British polar research vessel, according to the Guardian.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, bosses at the National Environment Research Council (NERC) were left red-faced by the popularity of the tongue-in-cheek name, one of a number of witticisms nominated by the public in an online pills to name its latest £200 million (€253 million) research ship.

Now NERC chief executive Duncan Wingham, who holds final say on the naming rights, is left with the difficult decision of whether to go with the popular choice, or preserve the credibility of the advanced polar research fleet among the marine science community.

As it turns out, it's not the first time that marine science has had an awkward brush with the public online – as an effort by Greenpeace to draw attention to whaling in the South Pacific led to a humpback whale being lumbered with the dubious monicker Mister Splashy Pants.

However, as the AV Club reports, that name ended up being to the benefit of Greenpeace's campaign against Japanese whaling – a subject back in the news after confirmation of hundreds of whale kills on a recent Antarctic expedition.

Published in News Update

#MarineWildlife - Sharks have been filmed devouring a whale carcass at the ocean's surface in waters close to Britain and Ireland for the first time.

The results of the documentary expedition were broadcast last Friday as part of the UTV series Britain's Whales, available for catch-up the rest of this week.

As the Plymouth Herald reports, the groundbreaking experiment was headed by West Country marine biologist Dr Nicholas Higgs along with presenters Ellie Harrison and Ben Fogle, who sailed out to the Celtic Deep between Ireland, Cornwall and Wales with the carcass of a humpback whale in tow.

Their documentary crew were then able to film an "unprecedented" feeding frenzy by hundreds of blue sharks before the carcass was sunk for further study to examine the various creatures, from sharks to tiny 'zombie worms', that thrive on dead cetaceans as they drop to the ocean floor.

"I would never have predicted that you'd have this many sharks eating this much of the whale at the surface," said Dr Higgs. The Plymouth Herald has more on the story HERE.



In other cetacean news, Japan has disappointed global authorities by confirming hundreds of whale kills on its most recent expedition to the Antarctic.

Some 333 minke whales, including pregnant females, were poached between since December and last Friday (25 March), according to the Guardian.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Ireland recently joined an international demarche expressing "serious concern" at Japan's decision to resume whaling for what it claims are scientific purposes, claims that are not supported by the International Whaling Commission.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises that the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) and the University of Bremen will deploy three scientific deep-sea moorings at Goban Spur off the southwestern Irish shelf.

The work will be carried out by the German research vessel Maria S Merian (Callsign DBBT) and is expected to start on or around Sunday 3 April, lasting for approximately five days, weather permitting.

The top elements of all three moorings are yellow or orange in colour and carry flags as well as radio and Iridium beacons that only signal once the top element is at the surface. Scientific instruments are attached at different depths to ropes and chains. Sub-surface floatation bodies will keep the moorings upright.

As this is sensitive scientific equipment it is requested that fishermen and marine operators engaged in such activities as bottom trawling or laying of static gear avoid the locations concerned.

The moorings will be in place for a period of 12-15 months and will be positioned at the locations detailed in Marine Notice No 12 of 2016, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Warning

#CoastalNotes - Marine Institute researchers assisted marine technology students from Cape Fear Community College in the USA by deploying their miniature marine research vessel from the RV Celtic Explorer last Sunday 20 March.

The students in Cape Fear Community College’s boat building programme spent two months building Marlin Spikin’ Miller, which washed up on the shores of a Connemara island recently some eight months after being put to sea 6,000 miles across the Atlantic, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The boat is a miniature fibreglass sailboat designed to journey with the ocean winds and currents. It is embedded with a small satellite transmitter mounted on the deck and sends back data to the students which they use to monitor ocean and wind currents.

Cape Fear's boat building programme is unique in its kind and is part of a project in which a handful of schools across the USA are included.

Ciaran O’Donnell of the Marine Institute commented: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to play a role in this project and will look forward to seeing where the vessel will end up next.”

The Celtic Explorer launched the Marlin Spikin’ Miller at the most south-westerly point of the current blue whiting acoustic survey off the coast of Ireland.

The survey will run for another fortnight and will assess the size of the spawning stock of blue whiting in western waters. Ireland has participated in the international survey programme since 2004.

Acoustic data, age and maturity of blue whiting samples from all participants are combined to provide a measure of the relative abundance of the blue whiting stock.

The annual abundance estimate and stock numbers at age are presented to the ICES Working Group of Widely Distributed Stocks (WGWIDE).

Published in Coastal Notes

#BoatyMcBoatface - The operators of a new British marine research vessel may be left red-faced as an online poll to name the ship has a clear favourite: Boaty McBoatface.

The tongue-in-cheek submission is far ahead of rival choices such as David Attenborough in the public vote to name the Natural Environment Research Council's (NERC) new polar research ship, as The Independent reports. SEE VIDEO BELOW.

And it's not the only witticism in the running, with Usain Boat, Ice Ice Baby and Notthetitanic also proving popular on social media ahead of the voting deadline on 16 April.

Whatever name it eventually gets, the £200 million (€253 million) vessel will carry up to 90 scientists and support staff on lengthy research voyages to the Arctic and Antartica, forming part of what NERC describes as "the most advanced floating research fleet in the world".

The Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#MarineScience - Marine scientists on board the RV Celtic Explorer have posted their first blog entry from this year's blue whiting acoustic survey voyage.

Setting sail from Cork on St Patrick's Day last week, the team – comprising acousticians, biologists and marine wildlife observers – are preparing to cover a massive area between the West of Ireland and the west coast of Scotland, including Rockall, as part of a flotilla of international research vessels from the Netherlands, Norway and the Faroe Islands.

The [email protected] blog has more on the mission HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#Eels - Inland Fisheries Ireland is in the process of setting up a network of scientific fisheries for eel around Ireland.

These scientific fisheries will cover the different life stages (elver, yellow and silver eel) and be distributed in key catchments around Ireland.

The purpose of the fisheries is to increase the data and knowledge of eel in Ireland ahead of the next EU review in 2018 which will help inform management on the state of the eel stocks as part of the Eel Monitoring Programme.

Details of the type of fisheries and the locations is outlined in the application document HERE.

IFI requests that former eel fishermen apply, and include an application specifying which of the locations and life stages they are interested in applying for.

The engagement of services will be a rolling contract – reviewed on an annual basis likely to extend for a period of three years, subject to an annual review and funding.

The research fishery will be authorised with the successful application of a certificate of authorisation under Section 14 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act, 1959 as substituted by Section 4 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1962. IFI will engage with the applicants in relation to the successful operation of the research fisheries.

Any questions in relation to the scientific eel fisheries can be sent by email to [email protected] or in writing to:

Scientific Eel Fishery
Inland Fisheries Ireland,
3044 Lake Drive,
Citywest Business Campus,
Dublin 24
D24 Y265

The closing date for applications is Friday 15 April 2016.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

The Galway based Marine Institute and some of Ireland’s most innovative marine technology organisations are in London this week at one of the leading global ocean technology events, Oceanology International, at ExCel London (March 15-17). They are promoting Ireland as a centre for innovation in the sea and an ideal location to develop and test novel marine technology because of Ireland's marine research infrastructure and marine innovation clusters.

See a full list of the Irish exhibitors below.

Dr Edel O’Connor, Coordinator of the national marine technology programme said, “This is one of the largest ever representations of Irish organisations at Oceanology International. Irish companies are developing innovative products and services that are being exported internationally. The conditions are being put in place to ensure Ireland is at the forefront of expertise and investment opportunities in a growing global blue economy.”

Ireland is developing a critical mass of research and innovation activities in marine technologies through the development of innovation clusters and investment in a suite of world-class test and development infrastructure. One such development, the SmartOcean initiative is building on Ireland’s existing cohort of ICT and engineering SMEs and multinationals to drive innovation in new and unanticipated ways to support the sustainable development of its large-scale ocean territory and to develop products and services for the global blue economy.

The Ireland Pavilion includes Irish SMEs Geomara, JFC Marine, TFI Marine, SonarSim, Marine Technology Ltd., and the Entrepreneur Ship which represents a number of SMEs based on the IMERC campus in Cork. Irish research platforms and infrastructures will also be showcased as part of the Pavilion. These include the marine energy and ocean technologies test site and sub-sea cabled observatory in Galway Bay; the national marine research vessels, RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager; and INFOMAR, the national seabed mapping programme managed by the Marine Institute and Geological Survey of Ireland. Other Irish SMEs such as Cathx Ocean and IDS monitoring are also showcasing their innovative products and services at the trade show. This year the Marine Institute, Enterprise Ireland and IDA will also speak at the inaugural international trading sessions at the event to showcase Ireland as a destination for expertise in marine ICT.

Exhibitors on the Ireland Pavilion

The Entrepreneur Ship

The Entrepreneur Ship is the world's first dedicated Blue Tech and Energy co-working space for startups and larger companies seeking touchdown space in Cork, Ireland. We are part of Ireland's Maritime Cluster, IMERC. Companies joining us on our stand include SEA-Tech, Exceedence and MUX’.

TFI Marine

TfI Marine supplies elastomeric mooring tethers that reduce mooring loads by ~ 70% and protect against shock loads. They reduce both capital and maintenance costs and are available for use in mooring Data Buoys; Aquaculture Cages and Feed Barges; Marine Energy devices and Oil and Gas structures.

Marine Technology Ltd

Established in 1980, Marine Technology Ltd is a precision engineering, design and development company. We specialise in the design and manufacture of bespoke marine projects, and across a range of other industries. We also specialise in batch production work of subsea components or one-off designs.

SonarSim

SonarSim provide smart software to improve the efficiency of underwater SONAR workflows & operations. We offer real-time Multibeam, Sidescan, & Imaging SONAR processing, automation & simulation solutions to support enhanced Hydrographic training, survey planning, mapping & security applications.

JFC Marine

JFC Marine offer an extensive range of floating buoy structures for both Navigation and Data buoy acquisitions. Our in-house R&D department are capable of providing custom build solutions integrating new technologies and data sensors, supplying real-time information to pilots at sea.

Geomara

Subsea Survey, Asset Protection and Intervention.

Marine Institute

The Marine Institute is promoting Irish marine research infrastructure; including the cabled seafloor observatory, national Research Vessels, the INFOMAR seabed mapping programme (joint programme with the Geological Survey of Ireland and MI) and the digital Ocean. SmartBay Ireland is the national test & demonstration facility for technology and ocean energy.

SmartBay Ireland

INFOMAR

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under

#MarineScience - The research vessel operations team at the Marine Institute are hosting a workshop for research vessel users at the institute's Oranmore headquarters on Thursday 28 April.

The aim of the workshop is to give marine scientists across a range of disciplines the opportunity to discuss their research, and their experience on both the RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager, as well as using the ROV Holland 1.

It will also allow the research vessel operations team to highlight the capabilities of both research vessels post 2015 refits, and to gather feedback about how the service could be improved.

The meeting will commence at 9am and it is planned to finish at 6pm. There will be an opportunity to have a Q&A session around the talks and gather feedback from both the user and the service provider. Contact [email protected] with any queries.

The research vessel users workshop will be followed by a SMARTSkills day workshop also in Oranmore on Friday 29 April with training sessions on the following:

  • MaxSea plotting software.
  • Shipboard Computer System (SCS) training.
  • IxBlue Echoes Sub Bottom Profiler training: practice and processing.
  • CTD training.
  • ADCP training.
  • Kongsberg Multibeam operating system (SIS).

All of the above equipment will be available for hands-on training and there will also be a wide selection of other scientific equipment on display on the day. See the SMARTSkills website for further information. A draft agenda for the SMARTSkills training can be found HERE.

Published in Marine Science
Page 9 of 27

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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