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Welsh Government Should Do "Everything They Can" to Save Research Ship Used by Bangor University

10th April 2019
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Welsh RV Prince Madog of Bangor University and Irish counterpart RV Celtic Voyager of the Marine Institute, Oranmore, Co. Galway, berthed at Menai Bridge Pier, Anglesey, north Wales (in Sept. 2017) during the official launch of the BlueFish Project, a collaboration between the two nations to examine the effect of climate change on fish and shellfish sustainability in the Irish Sea. AFLOAT adds the design of RV Prince Madog (2001) is based on the older Irish vessel (1997) though the Welsh RV is some 4m longer, however the similarities end in terms of a significantly different superstructure on the Menai Strait based vessel. In the 2018 Irish budget provision was made to replace the RV Celtic Voyager with a 50m newbuild. Welsh RV Prince Madog of Bangor University and Irish counterpart RV Celtic Voyager of the Marine Institute, Oranmore, Co. Galway, berthed at Menai Bridge Pier, Anglesey, north Wales (in Sept. 2017) during the official launch of the BlueFish Project, a collaboration between the two nations to examine the effect of climate change on fish and shellfish sustainability in the Irish Sea. AFLOAT adds the design of RV Prince Madog (2001) is based on the older Irish vessel (1997) though the Welsh RV is some 4m longer, however the similarities end in terms of a significantly different superstructure on the Menai Strait based vessel. In the 2018 Irish budget provision was made to replace the RV Celtic Voyager with a 50m newbuild. Photo: Bangor University-facebook

#marinescience - The Welsh Government should do "everything they can" to save a research ship used by Bangor University and utilise it as a National Research Vessel for Wales, according to Ynys Môn Assembly Member Rhun ap Iorwerth.

As the North Wales Chronicle writes there is an agreement in place between Bangor University and P&O, who own the Prince Madog ship, regarding the future of the vessel until 2021. However, what future it has beyond that time is unclear at present.

This uncertainty has led to Mr ap Iorwerth proposing the vessel be adopted as Wales’ National Research Vessel following the conclusion of the current agreement.

The Plaid Cymru AM led a short debate in the Assembly in Cardiff on the future of the research vessel last year, with Welsh Government officials having recently met with Bangor University and P&O as a result.

Talks regarding the future of the vessel had proved productive, only for Welsh Government procurement rules to prevent further progress.

To read more including a question raised by Rhun ap Iorwerth.in the Welsh Assembly Chamber read here.

Afloat adds the article refers to P&O, this is in fact P&O Maritime, a solutions provider to governments, businesses and organisations across the world. Among its global network of offices is an Irish base located in Galway.

Last year P&O Maritime Ireland was awarded a 7 year contract from the Marine Institute of Rinville, Oranmore in Co. Galway, to provide operational, management and technical support for the operation of the RV Celtic Voyager and the larger RV Celtic Explorer.

In addition the contract includes the deep-water Remotely Operated Vehicle Holland 1 together with management and technical support to related research and development programmes.

Published in Marine Science
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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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.
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  • 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.
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  • The competitor is alone in the boat, participation is mixed.
  • Since 1990, all boats are of one design.

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