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Minister Dara Calleary Visits Marine Institute Newport Facility

28th April 2023
The Marine Institute's Newport Facility in Co Mayo
The Marine Institute's Newport Facility in Co Mayo is one of the greatest natural laboratories for studying migratory fish in Europe

Minister of State for Trade Promotion and Digital Transformation, Dara Calleary T.D., today visited the Marine Institute's Newport Facility in Co Mayo.

Welcoming Minister Calleary, Dr John Killeen, Chair Marine Institute, said: "We are delighted to welcome Minister Calleary to the Marine Institute to see our facilities and meet with some of our scientific researchers. Research is central to the services we provide to industry, government and stakeholders in Ireland. The work that we do here at our Newport facility has national implications, international relevance, and benefits people, policy and planet”. 

The Marine Institute's facility in Newport is a unique research centre, where a range of cutting-edge research is undertaken, including genetics work across several species of salmon, sea bass, pollock and bluefin tuna, as well as research on catchment ecosystems, climate change, oceanography and aquaculture. The facility, which has been in operation since 1955, includes laboratories, a freshwater hatchery, fish-rearing facilities, fish census trapping stations, a salmonid angling fishery and a monitored freshwater lake and river catchment.

The research facility forms one of the greatest natural laboratories for studying migratory fish in Europe. Minister Calleary had the opportunity to tour the state-of-the-art facilities and to meet with researchers and scientists, and hear about some of the innovative research projects taking place at the site in sustainable seafood, future fisheries and in biodiversity.

Minister Calleary also gained an understanding of the role of the Marine Institute in climate adaptation and particularly how data is collected and used in climate modelling and monitoring to deal with the impacts of climate change on our coastline. As part of the visit, Minister Calleary was able to visit the manual climate station onsite and see the instruments used to collect data for Met Éireann. The scientists explained Newport’s role as a sentinel site, and its value for monitoring for climate change globally.

Speaking about the Marine Institute’s role Marine Institute CEO, Dr Paul Connolly said: “Forecasting ocean and climate change is one of the Institute’s strategic focus areas. The Marine Institute has a range of observational infrastructures around the Irish marine area continually gathering data on the marine environment. Over the years, we have built up significant time-series information and this data is central to developing digital services, including operational modelling which inform climate mitigation and adaptation measures in areas such as sea level rise and flooding.”

Following the visit, Minister Calleary said: "It has been a pleasure to meet the Marine Institute scientists based at Newport and to learn about the exemplary research that is carried out there. The Marine Institute work demonstrates how government funding is enabling solution-orientated research in the areas of aquaculture, fisheries and climate change. This research is critical to enable key sectors of our blue economy to develop sustainably. It is also important to see the collaborative approach that underpins these research projects, where Marine Institute scientists are working together with other Government agencies like Met Eireann, BIM, third-level institutions and industry.”

“Ireland has a strong reputation in Europe and internationally for its marine research and innovation, and for driving collaboration in this area. We have a superb marine research community supported by growing national research infrastructure. The Marine Institute’s Newport facility is unique and is enabling research that is delivering important societal benefits. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Marine Institute and their partners for their efforts in building a strong international track record and in applied marine research and innovation,” he said.

Published in Marine Science Team

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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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