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Ireland’s Role In Europe-Wide Research Programme To Preserve Threatened Migratory Fish

29th March 2019
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An angler-caught shad, one of the fish species under observation in the new DiadES project An angler-caught shad, one of the fish species under observation in the new DiadES project Photo: Inland Fisheries Ireland

#MarineWildlife - A new project which aims to promote international action and co-operation to conserve vulnerable migratory fish species launched yesterday, Thursday 28 March.

The DiadES initiative will see 30 partners from different countries participate in this European project, with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) leading out on the project in Ireland.

The project launches as migratory fish and their habitats continue to come under pressure as a result of human activity and climate change.

It will focus on fish such as shads, lampreys, salmon, trout and mullet which are known as ‘diadromous’ fish as they migrate between fresh and salt waters to reproduce or feed.

The DiadES initiative intends to improve knowledge of the ecological, economic and cultural benefits offered by these migratory species while assessing the possibility of these species changing their locations due to climate change.

It will also examine the emergence of new interactions between fish territories as a result of these relocations.

In addition to collaboration across research and knowledge sharing between countries, the project will take a global multidisciplinary approach.

It will focus on several species across different geographical areas and involve researchers in the field of natural sciences and environmental economists as well as an experienced network of fish managers.

As part of the research, a transnational interactive atlas will be produced which will outline the current distribution of diadromous fish and how they help the ecosystem. This will forecast trends in the geographical distribution of various species and look at possible redistribution of some species as a result of climate change.

The programme will also design a platform for stakeholders to explore different management strategies.

Dr Cathal Gallagher, head of research and development at IFI, said: “Throughout their life cycle, diadromous fish provide ‘ecosystem services’. This means they provide food, regulate and support the ecosystem through the nutrient cycle and offer a recreational pursuit to local communities. All of these fish generate significant ecological, economic and cultural benefits for local communities across Europe.

“We are keen to play our role in assessing and enhancing the role these fish play while also assisting them as they navigate the effects of climate change which has resulted in a reduction in their distribution.”

The DiadES project is led by the French research institute Irstea and is financed by the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to the value of €2.2 million.

Published in Marine Science, Angling
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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)

At A Glance – Figaro Race

  • It starts in June or July from a French port.
  • The race is split into four stages varying from year to year, from the length of the French coast and making up a total of around 1,500 to 2,000 nautical miles (1,700 to 2,300 mi; 2,800 to 3,700 km) on average.
  • Over the years the race has lasted between 10 and 13 days at sea.
  • The competitor is alone in the boat, participation is mixed.
  • Since 1990, all boats are of one design.

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