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Marine Science Vessel Celtic Voyager Sets Sail to Canada

1st December 2023
Research vessel Celtic Voyager - during its 25-year service life and has completed more than 600 surveys, enabled more than 6,500 science days, and sailed more than 550,000 miles while in service with the Marine Institute
Research vessel Celtic Voyager - during its 25-year service life and has completed more than 600 surveys, enabled more than 6,500 science days, and sailed more than 550,000 miles while in service with the Marine Institute Credit: Bob Bateman

The Marine Institute's Celtic Voyager, Ireland's first multi-purpose research vessel, has been sold to Qikiqtaaluk Corporation of Nunavut, Canada. The vessel has played a significant role in advancing marine science and monitoring for the Irish government during its 25-year service life and has completed more than 600 surveys, enabled more than 6,500 science days, and sailed more than 550,000 miles while in service with the Marine Institute.

Speaking as the vessel departed Irish shores, Michael Gillooly, Interim CEO Marine Institute, said, "We welcome the purchase of the vessel by Qikiqtaaluk Corporation of Canada and are pleased to see that it will continue its work in the areas of fisheries research and seabed mapping in the Nunavut Territory Canada."

The vessel will continue to be used for fisheries research and seabed mapping in Northern territories and Nunavut in Canada. Qikiqtaaluk Corporation is the Inuit birthright development corporation for the Qikiqtani Region and seeks to strengthen the social and economic well-being of Nunavut and the 15,000+ Inuit it represents.

The vessel was operated by P&O Maritime Services Ltd in recent years, and the excellent condition of the vessel is a testament to the crew and shore-based personnel who have sailed and maintained it over the years.

The sale of the Celtic Voyager was facilitated by ship brokers "Hanseatic Offshore Brokers" (HOB).

The vessel has provided a generation of marine scientists, researchers, and crew members with many years of experience at sea, creating abiding memories for them and supporting Ireland's increase in international marine research profile over the last 25 years. The Celtic Voyager's busy annual schedule and wide geographic range provided Ireland with important data and research outputs as the platform delivered a range of national monitoring programs.

The Celtic Voyager has since been replaced in the national marine research fleet by the RV Tom Crean. The Marine Institute bids her a fond farewell and wishes her and her crew and all who sail on her fair winds and following seas.

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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