Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Latest Stories

The Marine Institute’s research facility in Newport, Co Mayo will open its doors to primary school children this week and to the general public for an open day this Sunday 14 April from 11am to 4pm.

Primary pupils from Newport, Kilmeena, Carrowaholly, Glenhest, Knockroosky and Snugboro schools in Co Mayo will visit the Newport Catchment Facility on today and tomorrow (Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 April) to speak with marine scientists and view the freshwater hatchery and fish rearing facilities on site.

A number of PhD candidates will also be available to talk to students about their subject choices and potential careers in the marine sector.

Beavers and cubs from the Westport and Ballyhaunis Scout groups will have an opportunity to tour the facility this Saturday 13 April.

And the open day at Newport Catchment Facility thus Sunday offers an opportunity for visitors to view the facilities in the Burrishoole Valley and learn more about the research taking place at the site.

A range of cutting-edge research is undertaken at the Newport Catchment Facility including genetics work across several species of salmon, sea bass, pollock and bluefin tuna, as well as research on catchment ecosystems events, climate change, oceanography and aquaculture.

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan said: “We welcome visitors to our Newport facility to see the work that is being undertaken by scientists and postdoctoral students that not only contributes to national research, but also has international relevance.

“Our open day is also an opportunity to engage the public and increase awareness of the value and opportunities of our marine resource, a goal of Ireland’s marine plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.”

Published in Marine Science

The Marine Institute recently welcomed the Ambassador of France in Ireland, Stephane Crouzat, and Attaché for Science and Technology Marc Daumas to its headquarters in Oranmore.

The French delegation received a tour of the Marine Institute facility, and met with staff to gain an insight into the work of the institute and collaborations with French organisations.

Welcoming the delegation to the Marine Institute, Dr Paul Connolly, director of fisheries and advisory services, said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and discuss our recent work and research with the ambassador.

“Our collaborations with French scientists and the French institute Ifremer and important relationships which also increase our research capacity.”

The ambassador was greeted by Dr Connolly and Thomas Furey of the INFOMAR programme, and introduced to the broad work of the institute using the various displays in the reception area.

Dr Connolly outlined the work of the institute’s marine science research vessels, and the design for a new state-of-the-art marine research vessel for Ireland which is now under way.

The ambassador also viewed a series of artworks and watercolour illustrations produced as part of BlueFish marine science project, which links art and science to demystify the concept of climate change in coastal communities.

Furey demonstrated how the INFOMAR Augmented Reality Sandbox is used to explain the concept of seabed mapping to children and adults at public events.

Experts from the Marine Institute shared their involvement in recent research and projects through a number of presentations.

Jennifer Doyle explained how underwater TV surveys assess nephrops stocks and how the Marine Institute has transferred this technology to the Bay of Biscay, by working closely with the French Institute Ifremer.

Furey discussed INFOMAR’s work and links with several French organisations, Guillaume Ball outlined his current research on tuna, and Yves Reecht explained how mobile phone technology was being used to build a system to map the fishing activity of small inshore vessels.

Aodhán Fitzgerald provided an overview on the Marine Institute’s role as co-ordinators of EuroFleetsPlus, a project which will access to an advanced research fleet and involve a number of French partners.

Dr Margaret Rae also presented the work undertaken by the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA) as part of the transatlantic alliance between the USA, Canada and the European Union.

The French delegation also received an overview of Ireland’s Integrated marine plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, and the Marine Institute’s Strategic Plan 2018 – 2022 Building Ocean Knowledge, Delivering Ocean Services.

A key building block in developing the institute’s digital capability as part of this strategic plan was achieved last month when it became one of the first 10 national data centres worldwide to receive the international accreditation of its Data Management Quality Management Framework by the (UNESCO) International Oceanographic Commission's IODE programme.

The IODE (International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange) programme designates national oceanographic data centres and has a central co-ordinating role internationally.

New digital capabilities are critical to integrated marine service delivery including areas such as oceanographic services, food safety, fisheries and marine management programmes, the institute says, adding that the IODE accreditation “will underpin the quality of these services and underlines the Marine Institute's commitment to high-quality services”.

These services include the institute’s Digital Ocean programme which is developing new digital capabilities in data management, integration, analytics and modelling to contribute to making high-quality marine data and information more readily available to support service delivery to Government, the national marine research and innovation community, the public and to facilitate international collaboration.

Published in Marine Science

Last week the Marine Institute’s headquarters in Oranmore, Co Galway welcomed 22 Transition year students to its fifth annual TY training week.

Students from Galway, Mayo, Clare, Roscommon, Dublin and Waterford engaged in a range of STEM-related activities to experience what it is like to work in the marine sector.

The TY students shadowed scientists and staff at the Marine Institute, learning about marine science, technology and asasociated disciplines.

They also engaged in a range of presentations and interactive activities related to fisheries science, marine chemistry, seabed mapping, food safety, research vessel operations, maritime development, oceanography and marine climate, data, applications development, team-building and communications.

“Increasing students’ knowledge on the importance of our marine resource, is key to supporting Ireland's ocean economy, where highly skilled professionals are needed in the future,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan.

“Our TY Week programme aims to inspire a new generation of marine professionals, and provides an insight into the diverse career opportunities on offer in Ireland’s marine sector.”

TY students from any school in Ireland are welcome to apply for this week-long, full-time work experience opportunity at the Marine Institute for 2020. Further details on the application process will be available later this year.

Published in Marine Science

Seven renewable energy projects are benefitting from a significant funding injection following investment by the Marine Institute’s industry-led awards, as reported last month on Afloat.ie.

With the aim of driving innovation in the marine sector and accelerating renewable energy breakthroughs, funding of up to €200,000 was awarded to each of the research projects to be conducted by indigenous companies, with some including university partners.

Speaking at the funding announcement, Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan said: “The diversity of renewable energy projects benefiting from this funding demonstrates the innovation and expertise that we are developing in Ireland in this sector.

“From research on the impact of floating platform technology to subsea micro-piling to hybrid solar and wind energy devices, the commercial opportunities of these projects are very exciting. We are committed to supporting marine enterprises in Ireland to drive Ireland's blue economy.”

Gavin & Doherty GeoSolutions is being awarded €199,957 over two years for their research project in partnership with University College Cork that will involve a geological, geotechnical, sediment and morphodynamic assessment of designated areas of the Irish seabed.

Predictive sediment transport modelling, validated against field data, will be used to characterise future seabed changes and to quantify the risk for future potential offshore wind developments in the Irish sea.

The outcomes of the project will support developers in efficient design, installation and maintenance planning of offshore renewable assets and will reduce the risk associated with future wind farm developments in the Irish Sea.

Two projects in the area of floating energy platforms were also successful in their research funding applications.

Solar Marine Energy will receive €195,465 over two years, in partnership with UCC, to progress how solar energy can be harnessed on a floating platform to power an electrolysis unit to produce Hydrogen in an electro-fuel form while using battery storage for the release of power as and when required.

Solar Marine Energy Ltd (SME) is one of the first companies to design, engineer and manufacture cost-competitive floating solar energy products in its Floating Solar Panels, in accordance with maritime industry best practice.

To make floating wind a commercial reality, further technology innovation is necessary. The Eureka-Sea Wind project proposed by Marine Materials Ireland Ltd (MMI) will also receive €199,816 over two years to develop reliable and efficient floating wind turbine technology based on a novel concept that reduces cost and weight.

Based in Ireland and the USA, Resolute Marine Ltd has developed a successful Oscillating Wave Surge Converter (OWSC) flap system.

Now with a funding boost of €199,955, Resolute Marine will bring the OWSC from concept to robust design that is optimised for locations in the developing countries and islands targeted for commercial installations of RML’s innovative wave-powered desalination systems.

This project is set to advance the Irish wave energy industry and provide jobs for three additional highly trained experts in the fields of hydrodynamics, ocean engineering and project management.

Subsea Micropiles is being awarded €199,902 for research on the design and temporary installation of two demonstration micropile anchors.

The anchor frames will represent structures that would support the foundations of offshore wind turbines or hydrokinetic energy converters. The two anchors will be load tested both horizontally and vertically and the results compared with design predictions.

This type of micropiling technology for subsea environment provides a real and cost-effective alternative to current subsea micropiling models.

Use of robotically installed micropiles in the subsea environment represents important innovation and potential cost saving for marine renewable energy projects.

Fish farmers are actively searching for renewable energy sources to replace the diesel consumption, which causes concerns in relation to emissions and increases risk of oil spills when transporting diesel to the feed aquaculture barges.

Wind and solar generation on fish farm cages currently do not meet the power needs and can be fundamentally challenging and particularly high maintenance, when mounted so close to the ocean itself.

Wave energy, especially when coupled with the existing mooring system, is seen as a very appealing solution.

Exceedence and TfI Marine secured €199,532 in funding to research and develop a revolutionary 1kW Inline Gator system. The Inline Gator will harness the natural power of the waves by converting the motion of the fish cage into electricity thereby mitigating the need for fossil fuels.

W1DA Experience Ltd is also being awarded €198,763 in funding for the Marine EcoPowa Project in partnership with the University of Southampton and UCC.

The project aims to create a new generation of medium power (12-15KW/20-30HP) environmentally–friendly marine propulsion and energy regeneration systems that will replace what is currently termed as “outboard motors”.

The potential financial benefits to boat users in Ireland are significant, potentially costing less than half that of petrol and diesel motors over a 10-year lifetime.

The Marine Institute says it is committed to assisting industry-led development through knowledge transfer, capacity building and research to enable optimal decision making and planning to best leverage Ireland’s natural marine resources sustainably and efficiently.

This investment in marine enterprises is a key output of the Marine Institute Strategic Plan 2018-2022: Building Ocean Knowledge, Delivering Ocean Services, guided by the Government’s integrated marine plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth as well as the National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy 2017–2021.

Increased economic growth and job creation from small and medium-sized enterprises based in Ireland is a key component of several national strategies and regional development plans. Funding for these seven renewable research projects is being provided by the Marine Institute and the Government, co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Published in Marine Science

Robotics, Internet of Things and data analytics are set to play a key role in Ireland's blue economy, according to the Marine Institute.

The national funding agency for the marine research industry recently awarded financial investments in two marine technology projects led by Xocean and IDS Monitoring.

Louth-based marine technology firm Xocean has been awarded €199,739 in funding over two years to transform marine monitoring and data collection.

The company uses innovative robotics, particularly unmanned vehicles, and IoT technology to monitor and collect data at sea.

Elsewhere, a new smart data buoy project by Clare-based IDS Monitoring will also benefit from a €196,955 funding grant, to develop a new smart buoy for coastal and inshore environmental monitoring.

The new IDS Buoy will make it easier to assemble, deploy and use buoys, as well as reducing purchase costs and maintenance, whilst enhancing the value of the information delivered through the smart buoy.

Recently announced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, the industry-led awards support Ireland's Integrated Marine PlanHarnessing Our Ocean Wealth, as well as the national Marine Research and Innovation Strategy 2017-2021.

“Supporting Irish companies in the marine sector, through research grants, helps to accelerate innovation and drive growth in our blue economy,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan.

“The Marine Institute is committed to assisting industry-led development through knowledge transfer, capacity building and research to enable optimal decision making and planning to best leverage our natural marine resources sustainably and efficiently.

“Both advanced technology research projects funded through the Marine Institute have the potential to be globally significant, and present enormous commercial opportunities for these Irish marine enterprises.

“Increased economic growth and job creation from small and medium sized enterprises based in Ireland is a key component of several national strategies and regional development plans.

“These awards will be carried out with the support of the Marine Institute under the Marine Research Programme 2014-2020 funded by the Irish Government, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.”

Published in News Update

More than half of submissions (53%) in the public consultation on the National Marine Planning Framework Baseline Report concerned the marine environment.

Ports and shipping (44%), climate change (42%) and nature conservation (41%) were other important topics raised among the 173 submissions received by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government from a wide range of stakeholders.

Published late last year, the baseline report aimed to bring together a clear picture of all activity in Ireland’s seas for the first time.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, representatives from all key sectors comprise an advisory group overseeing the process.

In its preliminary analysis of responses, the department also identified renewable energy, aquaculture and fisheries, seaweed harvesting, cultural heritage and assets, and consents and licensing as other areas of importance to a cohort of stakeholders that runs from public sector bodies to local authorities, coastal community groups and sports bodies.

One of the key questions asked of respondents regarded Ireland’s future approach to spatial designation marine planning, with the vast majority of the 57 who expressed a preference opting for either a policy-led plan (44%) or a hybrid of policy and zoning (40%).

The proposal for a National Marine Planning Framework has been broadly welcomed by respondents, with the Irish Marine Federation (IMF) describing it as “the most significant shift in Irish marine policy for several decades” while adding that the economic contribution of sport and recreational boating, including marine tourism, has thus far been largely underestimated, and related policy should be fully integrated in any plan.

The IMF also raised the question of spatial planning in relation to Brexit, with lack of resolution of boundary issues over the likes of Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough “a matter of great concern”.

All responses to the public consultation have been collected HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

Marine Minister Michael Creed TD has announced that the Marine Institute is to provide 12 marine businesses (in collaboration with five universities) with investment funding totaling €2.4 million over three years.

Read the full allocation of the grant recipients here

The funding is being provided to drive continued innovation in Ireland;s ocean economy, a key requirement of the Marine Institute-led National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy 2017-2021.

The 12 grants of up to €200,000 each, which are being provided to individual companies and company-led consortia, will support novel R&D and the development of new technologies in key growth areas such as marine engineering, renewable energy and the blue bioeconomy.

Minister Creed said: “Ireland’s blue economy continues to grow and develop in line with the targets of the national integrated marine plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.

“Indigenous small and medium enterprises are identifying new commercial opportunities across a range of marine sectors which can lead to economic growth and new jobs. These industry-led awards provide the opportunity for companies to build their R&D capacity and to innovate towards new products and processes.

“I look forward to seeing the 12 successful companies develop and grow their businesses with the support of this significant public investment funding.”

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan added: “The Marine Institute is committed to assisting industry-led development through knowledge transfer, capacity building, research and innovation. This investment in industry-led research is a key deliverable of the Marine Institute Strategic Plan 2018-2022: Building Ocean Knowledge, Delivering Ocean Services.

“Job creation in the marine sector is increasing as a result of such investment and Irish marine companies have built an excellent reputation internationally for innovation and best practice. The 12 companies receiving funding through this funding call have demonstrated the demand and capability to fuel further growth through marine research.”

Increased economic growth and job creation from small and medium-sized enterprises based in Ireland is a key component of several national strategies and regional development plans. These awards will be carried out with the support of the Marine Institute under the Marine Research Programme 2014-2020 funded by the Government, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

A diverse range of companies applied to the Marine Institute, following the launch of its industry-led call in May 2018.

Awards have been approved for companies operating in a range of marine sectors including companies such as SolarMarine Energy (€195,465 for a floating solar hybrid energy project), Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions (€199,957 for a morphodynamic study of the Irish Sea), Subsea Micropiles (€199,902 for development of micropile technology in subsea environments), Marine Materials Ltd (€199,816 for its Eureka-SeaWind offshore wind energy project), Exceedence Ltd (€199,532 for its inline gator for aquaculture), w1Da Experience (€198,763 for its marine EcoPowa project) and Resolute Marine (€199,955 for its oscillating wave surge converter design).

Bioresources processing company Bio-marine Ingredients Ltd, was awarded €200,000 for the development of marine functional food to support healthy ageing in older adults, while advanced technologies companies Xocean Ltd (€199,739 for fisheries surveys using ‘swarms’ of unmanned vessels) and IDS Monitoring (€196,275 for its ‘smart buoy’ project), and marine engineering companies Technology from Ideas (€199,960 for the Aquamoor sustainable mooring for shellfish and seaweed) and Ocean Energy (€195,565 for engineering advanced material for marine energy and aquaculture) were also successful in their funding applications.

Published in News Update

A policy-based plan that puts climate change front and centre and steers away from privatising coastal resources is what the country wants from the State’s National Marine Planning Framework, as The Irish Times reports.

Details have been released from the recently concluded consultation on the framework’s baseline report, released in September and branded as “a key part of the process of developing Ireland’s first marine spatial plan”.

The majority of responses (53%) were related to the marine environment, with 42% of submissions raising the prospect of the plan including measures to deal with climate change.

That news is timely with fears that coastal erosion poses a threat to hundreds of communities around Ireland.

Respondents also expressed preference for a policy-driven approach over specific zoning or a hybrid of the two, and many were adamant that the plan must retain Ireland’s marine resources in public hands.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

Nineteen postgraduates presented their marine research highlighting the innovation and contributions being made towards the growth of the marine sector in Ireland at the Cullen Fellowship Programme’s two-day annual meeting last week.

Dr Peter Heffernan, chief executive of the Marine Institute which hosted the meeting in Oranmore, had particular praise for Philip Stephens of NUI Galway and James Fahy of University College Dublin, who recently completed their respective Master’s degrees in Science.

“The graduates and other Fellows’ high level of accomplishments are welcomed in Ireland, particularly when the ocean sector is one of the fastest areas of economic growth, outpacing progress in the general economy in recent years,” Dr Heffernan said.

The Cullen Fellowship Programme has provided grant aid to the value of €1.9 million supporting 24 PhD and three Master’s students in their research over the last four years.

This has involved 15 research themes identified in the National Marine Research & Innovation Strategy 2017-2021, ranging from marine technology and fisheries management to oceanographic research, aquaculture, fish health, food safety, seabed mapping, marine technology, shipping and maritime transport, marine environment, marine economics, law and policy, education and outreach.

“We are extremely pleased with the high calibre of skilled marine researchers that have been involved with the Cullen Fellowship in recent years,” said Martina Maloney of the Marine Institute’s research funding office.

“The opportunities that the students have gained has helped further support the Government’s national Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth strategy in developing a thriving maritime economy, building healthy marine ecosystems and creating engagement with the sea.”

The growth of Ireland’s ocean economy in 2017 had a direct impact of €5.5bn turnover employing over 32,000 people. The Government investment in the ocean economy is on track to double the value of Our Ocean Wealth to 2.4% of GDP by 2030.

“We are reliant on the ocean for its food through fisheries and aquaculture, ocean transport involving shipping and tourism as well as the societal impact the ocean provides us,” Dr Heffernan said.

“Therefore, with the trend in changing economies, new forms of energy, transport and food production transforming industries, companies and jobs in the near future, it is important that we continue to invest in third level research for our next generation of marine scientists and researchers.”

The Marine Institute set up the Cullen Fellowship programme in 2014 in memory of Anne Cullen (1958-2013), who had made a significant contribution to the work of the Marine Institute over 35 years, inspiring many students through the Institute's bursary programme, encouraging students to get hands-on experience to support their study.

The Cullen Fellowships are carried out with the support of the Marine Institute and funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Government.

Cullen Fellowship opportunities will be advertised as they arise on www.marine.ie under ‘Research and Funding – Current Funding Opportunities’ and through various social media channels.

Published in Marine Science

Sean Kyne, Minister of State with responsibility for rural affairs and natural resources, was speaking this morning (Friday 5 October) in Galway’s Town Hall Theatre, as Galway Bay FM reports.

The minister was attending one of a series of regional events for the public on the National Marine Planning Framework Baseline Report.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the recently published report sets out the context in which the marine equivalent of the National Planning Framework is being developed.

The public consultation will remain open till Friday 14 December.

According to the Connacht Tribune, activist group Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages was scheduled to hold a silent demonstration outside the theatre.

The group protests the inclusion of salmon farming multinational Marine Harvest on the framework’s stakeholder consultation panel.

Published in Coastal Notes
Page 1 of 4

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

DBSC
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating