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Marine Institute Hosts Norwegian Ambassador’s Visit to Galway

5th March 2024
Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland Mari Skåre with Marine Institute chief executive Dr Rick Officer with the institute’s scale model of the RV Tom Crean
Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland Mari Skåre with Marine Institute chief executive Dr Rick Officer with the institute’s scale model of the RV Tom Crean Credit: XPOSURE

The Marine Institute welcomed Mari Skåre, the Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland, on an official visit to the Marine Institute’s headquarters in Galway on Tuesday (5 March).

Commenting on the visit, Dr Rick Officer, chief executive of the Marine Institute said: “We are delighted to welcome H.E. Ambassador Skåre to the Marine Institute. Ireland and Norway have long shared a commitment to marine research and development. Today’s visit provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress we’ve made on collaborative projects under Horizon Europe, and an opportunity to look to the future and new areas for further cooperation.”

International cooperation is essential to developing knowledge of the Atlantic Ocean, its dynamic systems and its interlinkages with the Arctic region. Such collaboration is both necessary and urgent as society adapts to climate and environmental changes taking place around the world, the institute says.

Ireland already collaborates with Norway on over 50 marine and maritime projects through Horizon Europe and collaborative networks such as the Joint Programming Initiative for Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans) and the Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership.

These research projects range thematically from biodiversity to marine ecosystem services, marine pollution, circular economy, blue carbon, coastal resilience, citizen engagement projects, maritime navigation and important cooperation on marine research infrastructure projects.

Ambassador Skåre and Dr Officer also discussed the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), a global initiative to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation that can reverse declines in the state of the ocean system while catalysing new opportunities for sustainable ocean use.

Dr Officer added: “From our shared Atlantic coastlines, to our rich maritime histories, Ireland and Norway share a profound commitment to advancing marine research and sustainable development. A more resilient and prosperous maritime future will be to the betterment of both nations and the global marine ecosystem, as a whole.

“From exploring sustainable fisheries to studying oceanography and climate change impacts, both of our nations remain dedicated to understanding and protecting our oceans for future generations.”

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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