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Displaying items by tag: marine science

#MarineScience - Taoiseach Enda Kenny today (Saturday 28 January) announced the creation of 20 new jobs and a €6 million investment in the Marine Institute's facility in Newport, Co Mayo.

The 20 new positions will be based at Newport research facility where they will be engaged in a number of projects funded from a secured pot of €6 million in research grants from a number of agencies including the Science Foundation Ireland, Interreg, EU H2020/European Research Council, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and the British Research Council.

Speaking in Furnace, near Newport, the Taoiseach — who is also TD for Mayo — said the move “is very timely following the launch of Realising our Rural Potential – the Action Plan for Rural Development earlier this week.

“The Newport facility is a real example of innovation taking place in a rural community and creates exciting opportunities both now and in the years ahead.

“Scientists at doctoral and post-doctoral level working at the facility are involved in conducting research with not only national implications, but also international relevance. In other words, it firmly brings what is a rural area into a national and international context.”

The Taoiseach added: “This is a relatively unique research facility in operation since 1955 and I am delighted to see the continued excellent quality research that is taking place following €6 million in funding from research grants.

“I also wish to thank the Marine Institute and their educational partners for their efforts in building a strong international reputation for marine research and innovation."

The Marine Institute says a range of cutting edge research is carried out at its Newport facility including genetics work across several species of salmon, sea bass and pollock, research on the catchment, and climate change.

The facility is attracting multiple Irish Higher Education Institutions and international partners including University College Cork, Queens University, University College Dublin, GMIT, Dundalk Institute of Technology, NUI Galway and the University of Glasgow.

In addition, the Marine Institute is working with Mayo County Council to actively develop new initiatives at the facility to further enhance what the Marine Institute can offer and benefit the local area.

Supporting the announcement, Marine Minister Michael Creed said that his department and the fishing industry consider pollock “a very important commercial species for some elements of the Irish fleet. It is good to see a new project on this species being carried out in Newport, using the scientific expertise that is there."

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan added: "Ireland has been gaining a reputation in Europe, and internationally for its marine research and innovation, and for driving collaboration in this area. We have a strong marine research community supported by growing national research infrastructure.

“This €6 million investment programme will see the Marine Institute expand its research capacity at its Newport facility and the continued investment in marine research will ensure that Ireland stays at the cutting edge of research and innovation."

In his own welcoming statement, Mayo county manager Peter Hynes said: "This is fantastic news for Mayo and the West region and Mayo County Council looks forward to continuing to work with the Marine Institute to further develop this cutting edge research facility here in Newport."

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - The Marine Institute is inviting students to apply for a number of work placement bursaries in many exciting areas for the summer of 2017.

The Marine Institute Bursary Scholarship Scheme is worth €275 per week for an eight- to 12-week placement, bursary dependant. Placements will be based in various locations including the Marine Institute at Oranmore, Co Galway; Newport, Co Mayo; and other locations and ports around the country.

The Marine Institute's Bursary Scholarship Scheme provides valuable practical experience for marine science students in areas of research such as marine fisheries, salmon management, aquaculture, the Fish Health Unit, oceanography instrumentation, benthic ecology, communications and R&D.

Last summer’s programme saw 28 students from across Ireland embark on work placements in a variety of areas including salmon and shellfish assessments, fish sampling at ports, maritime economics and even app development.

The programme is aimed at undergraduates of universities, institutes of technology and national institutes for higher education. The scheme is strictly limited to undergraduates who will have completed two years study in a relevant discipline by the beginning of June.

Previous bursars have gone on to work in the Marine Institute (including two directors of the institute), BIM, Regional Fisheries Boards, county councils, pharmaceutical companies and State laboratories, with some going as far afield as the EPA in Sydney, Australia, and others now running their own companies.

To apply for the Summer Bursary Programme, check out the bursary titles on offer, and select the two bursaries that interest you most in order of preference. Then complete the application form and return it FAO Annette Jordan, Marine Institute, Furnace, Newport, Co Mayo by the deadline of Friday 10 February.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - The public consultation on a new plan setting out Ireland's Marine Research and Innovation Strategy for the period 2016-2021 has been extended till Friday 30 December.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the draft strategy as prepared by the Marine Institute provides a unified view of marine-related funding requirements across a range of societal challenges such as transport, food, energy and biodiversity.

And it aims to build on the significant progress made during the implementation of Ireland's previous marine research, knowledge and innovation strategy, Sea Change 2007-2013.

Details on the consultation’s online survey can be found HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - The Marine Institute welcomed over 250 visitors to its headquarters in Oranmore for the maritime innovation agency’s annual open day on Wednesday (23 November).

Organised as part of the Galway Science & Technology Festival and designed mainly for Transition Year students, this year the Marine Institute decided to open its doors to all, and attracted Leaving Cert students, teachers and parents, plus university and community groups from across the country.

Visitors had the opportunity to tour the state-of-the-art facilities in Oranmore and to meet with researchers and scientists and hear about their careers in the marine sector, which already supports over 30,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The institute also organised a series of interactive exhibitions to introduce visitors to some of the innovative work happening in areas including seabed mapping, research vessel operations and oceanography, as well as fisheries and the marine environment.

Find out more about the Marine Institute and its work at the Galway and Science & Technology Festival Exhibition this Sunday 27 November at NUI Galway from 10am till 6pm.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineNotice - The Marine Institute advises that the annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS2016) will be carried out off the South and West coasts of Ireland between Monday 14 November and Sunday 18 December in fulfilment of Ireland’s Common Fisheries Policy obligations.

The IGFS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of a minimum of 125 fishing hauls of 30 minutes duration each. Fishing in 2016 will take place within a 2nm radius of the positions indicated in Marine Notice 44 of 2016, available to read or download HERE.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (Callsign EIGB), which will display all appropriate lights and signals during the survey and will also be listening on VHF Channel 16. The vessel will be towing a high headline GOV 36/47 demersal trawl during fishing operations.

The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a 2nm area around the tow points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period.

While there is no statutory provision for the loss of gear at sea, the Marine Institute will make every effort to avoid gear adequately marked according to legislation that may be encountered in the notified areas.

In the event that an operator has static gear or other obstructions within 2nm of the points listed above it is the responsibility of the owner to notify the survey managers or vessel directly. This should be communicated by identifying specifically which ‘Prime Station’ is of concern using the appendix and contact details provided in the Marine Notice. It is not required to provide positional details of commercial operations beyond 3-4nm of the survey points provided.

Specifics of any fishing gear or other obstructions that are known and cannot be kept clear of these survey haul locations can be notified using the contact details provided in the Marine Notice.

Published in Fishing

#MarineScience - A new plan setting out Ireland's Marine Research and Innovation Strategy for the period 2016-2021 is now available for public consultation until Tuesday 22 November.

The draft strategy, prepared by the Marine Institute, provides a unified view of marine-related funding requirements across a range of societal challenges such as transport, food, energy and biodiversity.

It aims to build on the significant progress made during the implementation of Ireland's previous marine research, knowledge and innovation strategy, Sea Change 2007-2013.

The strategy has been developed following detailed review of marine research performance in Ireland, as well a review of the major policy and sectoral drivers.

A key aim of the strategy is to provide a guide for Government and funding agencies to where there are gaps in marine research to meet the needs of society as stated in national strategies such as Innovation 2020, the national research and innovation strategy.

"Significant progress has been made in marine research and it has become clear that marine research in Ireland has moved from being what was considered by some as a niche field, to a theme that is integral to the development of many sectors such as energy, transport, food, and biodiversity,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan.

The strategy aims to raise the research capacity across a number of identified themes and to ensure that funding is targeted to match requirements highlighted in state policies and sectoral plans.

"There is a high degree of co-ordination in the State's approach to research funding, as we have seen through the national research prioritisation exercise and more recently the publication of Innovation 2020,” added Dr Heffernan.

“We hope the Marine Research and Innovation Strategy will contribute to that coordinated approach by providing important insights to funding agencies as to how best to target their resources in the cross cutting area of marine research."

All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation.

“We've chosen to make the document available to as wide an audience as possible through public consultation in the spirit of engaging with the sea, a key goal of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, Ireland's integrated marine plan,” said Dr Heffernan. “We hope that as many people as possible will contribute to the consultation process.”

The purpose of the public consultation is to collect views and opinions on the strategy, its scope, objectives, and expected impacts.

View the draft Marine Research and Innovation Strategy and give your feedback no later than 5pm on Tuesday 22 November. Feedback from the consultation will be analysed and considered by the Marine Institute before the strategy is finalised.

Ten questions have been designed to capture your views on the strategy. Complete the online survey HERE or email your responses to [email protected]

Consultation questions and background briefing documents are also available.

Published in Marine Science

#GlobalSulphur - The International Maritime Organistions IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has reached an agreement on global sulphur cap.

The IMO last week agreed in favour of maintaining the deadline of 2020 for introducing a global cap of 0.5% sulphur content in marine fuels.

Responding to the breakthrough, the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) congratulated the IMO on its decision. By setting 2020 as deadline for this global 0.5% sulphur cap, the IMO timing is being aligned with the EU timing as foreseen in the current Sulphur Directive. This will mean equal rules for EU and its neighbouring countries.

European ports are also convinced of the environmental and public health benefits of this reduction target.

Commenting on th decision, ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost said “It is clear that limiting the sulphur exhaust emissions can have an enormous impact on the local air quality. This decision thus means a big step forward for the maritime and port industry and the people around the ports. In fact, 90% of European ports are very close to urban areas. Moreover, by maintaining 2020, IMO shows that an ambitious greening agenda is possible at global level. We must hope that IMO will demonstrate the same level of ambition when addressing climate change” 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ShackletonShips - The Ross Sea announced as the World’s largest marine park in the Antarctic is where ice patrol survey ship HMS Endurance nearly sank in the south Atlantic in 2008. Since then the ship has remained laid up, however in recent months she was scrapped, writes Jehan Ashmore.

HMS Endurance (A171) a former Royal Navy vessel based in the polar seas was named in honour of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s original expedition sail and steam ship Endurance.

The three-masted barquentine, Endurance was crushed by pack ice and sunk more than a century ago in late 1915. The incident took place during the Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914-1918 led by the Irish born polar explorer. A 15ft model of the ship is on display in the Athy Heritage Museum, Co. Kildare and more recently a statue of Shackleton was unveiled. 

The 1995 built HMS Endurance had a near floundering incident in December 2008 while off Chile. The 5,129 gross tonnage vessel suffered flooding of her engine room that nearly sank her, following an error during routine maintenance on a sea suction strainer.

The damage was so severe that HMS Endurance was transported by semi-submersible ship to the UK, firstly Dartmouth and then Portsmouth  Naval Base. It was deemed far too expensive to carry out repairs and she was sold for scrap in 2013, however since Afloat’s coverage almost three years ago, the towage of the vessel only took place in June when bound for breakers in Turkey.

She had been employed as a hydrographic and support vessel for British Antarctic Survey (BAS), which is responsible for the UK's national scientific activities in Antarctica. A £150m newbuild RRS Sir David Attenborough currently under construction will join her fleetmates as outlined below. 

HMS Endurance was originally built as MV Polar Circle for Norwegians in 1990, then chartered to the Royal Navy and purchased. The navy equipped the vessel with Lynx helicopters as BAS aircraft cannot reach certain locations in the vast polar expanse.

Currently, the Royal Navy’s presence in these polar waters and the South Atlantic is tasked to HMS Protector (A173). Likewise of her predecessor, she operates along with BAS ships.

They are the civilian-manned polar research vessels, RRS Ernest Shackleton and RRS James Clarke Ross. The naming of the ship honours that of the British explorer who in 1841 visited the area (Ross Sea) located in southern Antarctica.

Published in Marine Science

#AntarcticPark - The European Union and 24 countries yesterday agreed to create the world’s largest marine park in the Antarctic Ocean, covering a massive 1.55 million square km (600,000 square miles) of ocean.

The Irish Times writes the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, meeting in Hobart, Australia, said the Ross Sea marine park would be protected from commercial fishing for 35 years.The Ross Sea is seen as one of the world’s most ecologically important oceans.

The sanctuary will cover more than 12 per cent of the Southern Ocean, which is home to more than 10,000 species including most of the world’s penguins, whales, seabirds, colossal squid and Antarctic tooth fish.

Fishing will be banned completely in 1.1 million square km (425,000 square miles) of the Ross Sea, while areas designated as research zones will allow for some fishing for krill and sawfish.

Scientists and activists described the agreement as a historic milestone in global efforts to protect marine diversity.

For more the newspaper has the report here.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineWildlife - Marine scientists have been puzzled by the recent beaching of a whale rarely seen off the east coast of England.

According to the Guardian, the carcass of a 12m fin whale washed up at Holkham in Norfolk last Thursday afternoon (20 October), far from its usual waters between Britain and Ireland.

“You never get them in the North Sea, so what it was doing there, we have no idea at the moment,” biologist Dr Ben Garrod told the newspaper.

It’s not yet known what causes the marine giant’s death, though collision with a vessel in the North Sea has been mooted as one possibility, as the Eastern Daily Press reports.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Page 5 of 27

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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