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Marine Science
Cold water coral habitats from - 750 m water depth at the Porcupine Bank Canyon, NE Atlantic
Irish cold-water corals can survive in extreme conditions within Ireland’s largest submarine canyon on the Porcupine Bank, a new study has found. The coral even grows on precipices of high cliffs, and can withstand sea current speed of over 114…
The RV Celtic Explorer is regularly employed for INFOMAR mapping missions
Ireland’s internationally important seabed mapping project has been profiled in The Irish Times as it enters the final years of its mission to fully chart the nation’s marine territory. INFOMAR, a joint initiative of the Marine Institute and Geological Survey…
Lehanagh Pool sea site, Connemara, Co Galway
Increasing the value and sustainability of aquaculture will be the focus of ASTRAL, a new EU funded research project, that involves the Marine Institute and partners across the Atlantic. Ireland’s aquaculture sector produces 38,000 tonnes annually, providing a valuable food…
TCD professor of environmental history Poul Holm
Two researchers from Trinity College, Dublin (TCD) are among leaders of a €10.4 million project to assess the significance of marine resource exploitation over the past 2,000 years. Archaeology, history and environmental science experts will collaborate in the “4-Oceans” project,…
Dr Paul Connolly has been CEO of the Marine Institute for the past year
The Marine Institute’s chief executive has been elected to the Bureau of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) at the recent annual meeting of its member countries. Dr Paul Connolly — one of two ICES delegates…
11th Hour Racing Team crossing the North Atlantic in August
The 2022-23 edition of The Ocean Race is set to mark a sea change in its commitment to the environment by expanding the gathering of scientific data across the fleet. On a recent transatlantic crossing by 11th Hour Racing Team…
The National Inshore Fisherman's Association fleet (NIFA) is one of 15 groups making representations to the take the “steps necessary” to reinstate the ban and protect inshore stocks
Environmental and commercial fishing groups have joined forces to call for a restoration of a ban on trawling by larger vessels within six nautical miles of the coast. Marine life such as dolphins, small scale fishing vessels and sea birds…
The culturally iconic leaping Atlantic salmon
New research led by scientists at University College Cork (UCC) which uses genetic fingerprinting techniques indicated that captive-born salmon are far less successful at reproducing as wild salmon spawning in the same river. “We looked at the lifetime reproductive success…
Professor John Quinn with the Gannet colony sign on the Great Saltee Islands
COVID-19’s impact on visits to offshore islands may be benefiting the gannet seabird colony on Wexford’s Great Saltee. A new University College Cork (UCC) study has recorded the level of disturbance to the birds caused by tourists in the summer…
Newbuild RRS David Attenborough, once dubbed 'Boaty McBoatface', will be undergoing trials in the UK coastal waters off north Wales and its crew will be training in Holyhead ahead of polar trip. Above RRS David Attenborough was built at Cammell Laird shipyard (as above) in Birkenhead, Merseyside. AFLOAT adds the newbuild is this afternoon opposite at the famous Liverpool Waterfront.
Research newbuild RRS Sir David Attenborough is set to undergo two weeks of technical trials off the coast of north Wales The UK's most advanced polar research vessel set sail from Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead on Wednesday morning (Afloat…
The new vessel will be a sister ship to the State's largest research ship, the 65m RV Celtic Explorer (above)
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., has earmarked the purchase of a new marine research vessel for the State in his Department's 2021 Budget. As Afloat previously reported, €25m was allocated in Tuesday's budget to progress…
The Department of the Marine's 2021 budget estimate announced today provides some €13 million in increased funding for the continued promotion of the environmentally sustainable development of fisheries, aquaculture and the wider seafood industry. This brings the total funding for…
Marine Institute Scientists Join ‘Mission Atlantic’ To Map & Assess Sustainable Ocean’s Development
Marine scientists from Ireland will join an international group of ocean experts in a project to map and assess the Atlantic Ocean’s current and future risks from climate change, natural hazards and human activities. Mission Atlantic brings the Marine Institute together…
Graham Johnston and son Hugo explore the sea science gallery at Galway City Museum at its opening in 2017
Galway City Museum, which hosts Ireland’s first marine science gallery, has been recognised as a Top Tourist Attraction in Tripadvisor’s 2020 Travellers Choice Awards. The annual awards are based on a full year of TripAdvisor reviews, ratings and comments for…
Cockles in an Irish supermarket
The Dubliners' ode to Irish shellfish in their song Molly Malone may have been relying on inaccurate information. New research by University College, Cork (UCC) scientists reports there is “inconsistent” data on the location of Irish cockles in previous studies. Cockles…
Lead researcher Emer Keaveney, Marine Mammal Ecologist, Ocean Research & Conservation Ireland
The waters off the south coast of Ireland have been selected as the study location for Ireland’s first real-time acoustic monitoring project of large whales, with the aim to relay warning alerts to maritime traffic to reduce the risk of…

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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