#MarineScience - The Marine Institute has secured €800,000 research funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to carry out three significant research projects that address the needs of the aquaculture and seafood industry in the areas of shellfish health and seafood safety.
The funding was announced yesterday (Thursday 1 December) by Marine Minister Simon Coveney as part of the FIRM (Food Institutional Research Measure) competitive research funding programme, and follows the news earlier this month that Ireland's marine researchers won €5.5 million in the latest EU Horizon 2020 funding round in the areas of 'blue growth' and sustainability.
The collaborative projects, which have a total value of €1.2 million, include research partners at NUI Galway, University College Cork and University College Dublin.
The projects will address current challenges in aquaculture and aim to further enhance the health status and food safety standards of farmed Irish shellfish; and ensure compliance with food/feedstuff standards for seaweed.
Dr Peter Heffernan, chief executive of the Marine Institute, welcomed the announcement, saying these projects "will build on the work we are doing in the areas of fish health and seafood safety, together with our research partners.
"We have a strong seafood safety regime in Ireland and these research awards will help to increase our knowledge and further enhance the quality and safety of Irish seafood products."
Dr Heffernan also acknowledged two further research award recipients in NUI Galway and Dublin City University who will focus their research on sustainable aquaculture production systems and mining marine material for novel functional ingredients.
Early in the new year the Marine Institute will seek to fill the three research posts arising from these projects.