#marinescience – At a leading marine research conference in Cork today, Minister for Natural Resources, Fergus O'Dowd, will re-launch the Inland Fisheries Ireland vessel, the Cosantóir Bradán, in her new role as a marine survey vessel. The Cosantóir Bradán will now be employed as part of INFOMAR, the national marine mapping programme, being conducted by the Geological Survey and Marine Institute and funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
The INFOMAR Annual Conference "Enabling our Ocean Management" takes place at University College Cork (UCC) on Thursday and Friday October 11-12th. In addition to the vessel commissioning, the two day seminar includes a range of talks across areas such as ocean energy, hydrography and survey operations, aquaculture and fisheries, applied research, environment and heritage. A full programme of talks is available at www.infomar.ie.
According to the Minister, "I am particularly pleased to be able to attend the INFOMAR 2012 seminar to carry out the re-launch of the Cosantóir Bradán, which showcases the re-use and resultant cost saving made through the re-assignment of a state asset, in line with the changing requirements in areas where the department has responsibility. The Cosantóir Bradán, will now become part of providing the baseline mapping infrastructure in Irish nearshore waters, upon which future fisheries and government marine policy decisions will rely."
Ciaran Byrne, CEO of IFI pointed out, "The Cosantóir Bradán is now available for redeployment due to the changing requirements for the protections of our inshore salmon fisheries. As a result of the cessation of drift net fishing at sea operations have switched to the use of faster inshore vessels which are more focused towards policing the fishery. We are delighted to be able to facilitate the INFOMAR mapping programme, particularly as recipients and users of the updated maps being produced"
The INFOMAR Conference marks the end of a busy survey season for the INFOMAR programme with survey data acquired from all four of Ireland's coastlines including; Dundalk Bay, Co. Louth (with the InterReg IVA INIS HYDRO Project), Bunmahon, Co. Waterford, Inish Bofin and Inish Turk, Co. Galway (with BIM) and Burtonport, Co. Donegal, (with Underwater Archaeology Unit at DoEHLG) and offshore, mapping with the Marine Institute's Celtic Voyager in the Celtic Sea as well as completing the Priority Irish Sea area.