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Korean Marine Scientists Visit Derry~Londonderry Port

2nd October 2023
Members of the delegation with Loughs Agency Director of Aquaculture and Shellfisheries, Ciarán McGonigle, and Loughs Agency Head Of Science, Dr. Sarah McLean
Members of the delegation with Loughs Agency Director of Aquaculture and Shellfisheries, Ciarán McGonigle, and Loughs Agency Head Of Science, Dr. Sarah McLean Credit: Stephen Latimer

The Loughs Agency recently welcomed a marine science delegation from Korea to the North West as part of a two-day workshop focusing on transboundary cooperation for sustainable ocean and coastal areas.

The workshop was organised and sponsored by Queen’s University Belfast and the Korea Maritime Institute, to discuss transboundary maritime issues in both the Korean peninsula and the Island of Ireland.

The theme of the workshop was ‘Reflections on Transboundary Cooperation for Sustainable Ocean and Coastal Areas’, with the opening day in the prestigious Lanyon Building at Queen’s University Belfast incorporating speakers from a range of organisations, including Queen’s University Belfast, Loughs Agency the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Marine Institute, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and Trinity College Dublin.

Members of the Korean Marine Science delegation at the Derry~Londonderry Peace BridgeMembers of the Korean Marine Science delegation at the Derry~Londonderry Peace Bridge Photo: Stephen Latimer

On day two, the Korean delegates visited Derry~Londonderry, where they explored Ebrington Square and the Peace Bridge, enjoyed some local cuisine and visited Loughs Agency’s Headquarters in Prehen. There, the delegates engaged with Agency staff members, discussing the role and operational systems of Loughs Agency as a North-South Implementation Body with responsibility for transboundary aquatic systems.

Sharon McMahon, Loughs Agency CEO, said: “I was privileged to have been part of the workshop and had the opportunity to welcome the Korean delegation to Derry to discuss the work and challenges that face Loughs Agency as a North-South Implementation Body managing transboundary waters. We were delighted to be able to share valuable insights and information, further supporting transboundary cooperation, and continuous improvement of transboundary environmental and ecosystem-focused issues within our catchment areas and in particular, within the two sea loughs.

I sincerely hope the delegation found the visit to be beneficial and that it will help inform a maritime strategy for Korea.” 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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