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Canadian Ambassador Meets Local TY Students On Marine Institute Visit

17th May 2016
Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers with Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan and students from Calasanctius Secondary School in Oranmore Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers with Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan and students from Calasanctius Secondary School in Oranmore Photo: Marine Institute

#MarineInstitute - Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers visited the Marine Institute in Oranmore this week to hear about the ongoing marine science and research collaborations between the Ireland and Canada.

These include a survey on the Celtic Explorer, which left St John's in Newfoundland last Wednesday 11 May with scientists from Ireland, Canada and the USA onboard to map a transect of the Atlantic seabed.

Ambassador Vickers also had the opportunity to meet local Transition Year students from Calasanctius Secondary School who were visiting the Marine Institute to learn about marine research, potential career opportunities and to promote ocean literacy. He talked to them about the longstanding links between Ireland and Newfoundland.

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan commented: "Co-operation between our nations is key to improving our ocean wealth and promoting the sustainable management of its resources. It's hugely important for Ireland and brings us closer to achieving the goals of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation signed here at the Marine Institute Galway in May 2013 by the EU, USA and Canada.

"The current survey on the Celtic Explorer is called TRASNA [the Irish word for crossing] and is the fourth seabed mapping survey to take place under the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance," he added.

The Marine Institute is leading the Horizon 2020 funded project, the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination and Support Action, to support the implementation of the Galway Statement.

Meanwhile, the visiting TY students were given an overview of the wide-ranging research areas within the institute by Dr Paul Connolly, director of fisheries ecosystems and advisory services.

The students toured the fish aging laboratories to learn how scientists use the otolith, or earbone, of a fish to discover its age and how this process is used for assessing fish stocks so that we know the sustainable limits for fishing.

They also learned about ocean acidification and how climate change is being affected by the increase of CO2 in our oceans with talk by Dr Triona McGrath.

The INFOMAR team demonstrated their work on seabed mapping using the latest technology, explaining the importance of topography, geology and seabed mapping using Ireland's first augmented reality sandbox.

Published in Marine Science
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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