Inland Fisheries Ireland and the School of Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
The MOU will enable both institutions to collaborate across fisheries research projects.
Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, attended the signing and welcomed the formalisation of the partnership across fisheries research.
The MOU is a culmination of a 20-year relationship between the two organisations and aims to bring greater synergy to their working relationship. It will increase opportunities for more collaborative projects through direct co-operation and sharing of resources.
The MOU was signed by Professor Andrew Bowie, associate dean of research at Trinity College Dublin, and Dr Ciaran Byrne, chief executive of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).
Commenting on the significance of the partnership, Minister Canney said: “I hope that the MOU will act as an impetus to move forward with joint research to support the conservation and development of our natural resource.”
In the year ahead, research around climate change and the challenges it presents for the fisheries resource will continue to be a focus for both organisations.
IFI has established a national climate monitoring programme in water bodies nationwide with a view to producing high-quality research to inform management strategies for freshwater and marine fish species experiencing the effects of climate change.
Trinity College Dublin recently appointed two academic staff to the School of Natural Sciences whose expertise are centred on marine ecology and fish biology. Those appointments bolster the existing capacity within the School of Natural Sciences for impactful and innovative research that is highly relevant to IFI’s broad remit.
Dr Byrne said IFI “is a unique research agency, where high-level scientific expertise in fisheries ecology is supported by a nationwide sampling programme which includes index river catchments that provide invaluable ecological time series.
“We collaborate in numerous research programmes, conducting applied science to inform expert advice on the management of Ireland’s inland fisheries resource.
“The natural affinity of Inland Fisheries Ireland and the School of Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin has been formalised today by the signing of this MOU. Both institutions have long histories of scientific discovery and producing high quality research; by consolidating future collaborations the inland and marine fisheries resource will benefit from the combined expertise of our researchers to deliver excellent research, which will support conservation and management of a precious natural resource.”
Prof Bowie added: “Our zoology department conducts world-leading research on the impacts of climate change across marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems.
“That department’s team of computation modellers, ecosystem ecologists, and conservation biologists represent a critical mass of expertise that should prove valuable partners for addressing broad questions with Inland Fisheries Ireland about climate impacts on fisheries resources.”