The Marine Institute has welcomed Irish commitments announced at the recent Our Ocean Conference in Bali which include the provision of €25 million for a 50-metre modern research vessel to replace the RV Celtic Voyager.
“The vessel will provide critical national infrastructure to enable Ireland to address the considerable challenges of Brexit and the Common Fisheries Policy as well as climate-induced impacts on our oceans,” Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan said.
In addition, the Marine Institute says it has committed €2 million towards a new five-year programme of ocean and climate research.
With 50% funding from the EU ERDF scheme, the Marine Institute is running a competitive funding call to support the establishment of a principal investigator-led research team in an Irish higher education iSnstitution.
“This is a key investment to build capacity in an area of research prioritised under the National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy (2017-2021),” Dr Heffernan said.
“The research funded under this programme will deliver societally relevant knowledge aimed at better understanding the complex interactions between the ocean and climate change.”
Minister Creed also announced the continued commitment to the Environmental Educational module of Ireland’s Green Schools programme, and the continued support of the Clean Coasts programme.
“These programmes aim to build on Ireland’s marine and maritime heritage by increasing awareness of the value, opportunities and social benefits of our ocean wealth and identity, further supporting the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme,” Dr Heffernan said.
Other announcements by Ireland include the provision of €10m to the local authority sector in Ireland to aid in the establishment of four Climate Action Regional Offices (CAROs) and €1m over a five-year period (2019-2024) towards a new programme of ocean and climate research.
The Marine Institute also welcomes commitments announced by the European Commission which include €300 million for EU-funded initiatives for projects to tackle plastic pollution, make the ‘blue economy’ more sustainable and improve research and marine surveillance.