#MarineScience - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and University College Dublin (UCD) jointly sealed a Memorandum of Understanding at UCD’s Ardmore House on Monday 7 October expressing their commitment to a continued rich and productive liaison in research.
Over the past 50 years, scientists from UCD and the fisheries service have worked in collaboration in producing research that has covered an extraordinary range of projects – from aquatic plant to macro-invertebrate and fish stock studies.
In recent years the boundaries have expanded even further with collaborative micro-satellite DNA studies of fish stocks being undertaken.
“With the current limited public purse, this agreement will ensure a greater degree of symbiosis between these two organisations resulting in increased productivity, avoidance of duplication and strategically focused research,” said Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd, who presented both bodies with commemorative plaques to mark the occasion.
“It is my hope that this academic research, when coupled with applied research and practical application, will serve to increase our understanding on the inland fisheries resource though the use of novel technologies like DNA, environmental DNA and the development of bio-controls.”
The minister went on to stress the importance of the MOU in providing graduates and postgraduate with exposure to applied science and an opportunity to contribute to our understanding of the freshwater resource and to support its management, conservation and protection.
IFI’s head of research Dr Cathal Gallagher said: “I am confident that the MOU signed here today will act as an impetus to move forward with future collaboration in development of research techniques and projects to support the conservation and development of the natural resource that is inland fisheries.
“I see a vital role for IFI in supporting the development and education of the next generation of scientists into whose hands the future of this resource will be placed and I wish to acknowledge the great work undertaken by those who have brought us to where we are today – management of fisheries on the basis of sound science.”
Dr Mary Kelly-Quinn of UCD’s School of Biology and Environmental Science added that the MOU “will provide great opportunity for collaborative research with an industry partner. Our students will benefit enormously from unrivalled training in applied research and interaction with senior scientists dealing with emerging issues in aquatic and fisheries science.
“More so than ever before we appreciate the importance of building linkages with industry to ensure that we produce graduates that are able to enter the workforce and contribute to economic recovery through sustainable use of our countries resources.
“Today’s announcement is a step towards a greater goal which sees the development of a Centre for Fisheries Research here in UCD with the support of IFI.”