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Marine scientists yesterday welcomed President Mary McAleese on a visit to the Marine Institute headquarters in Oranmore, Co Galway.
The President met many of those involved in the SmartBay project, a network of buoys that uses remote sensing technology to collect and relay data on ocean conditions over long distances.
Institute staff also briefed the President on its programmes to sustainably manage wild fish stocks, ensure seafood safety and protect the marine environment.
“As the resources of the ocean become ever more implicated in the future development of high technologies sectors like energy, ICT, medical and pharma, they will be a key part of Ireland’s future economic story,” said the President.
Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, also highlighted "Ireland’s reputation as an emerging centre of excellence in marine science".
He said this was "validated" by the announcement of €23 million in EU funding for marine research groups and enterprises involved in pioneering areas such as ocean energy and biotechnology.