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The Marine Institute continues to invest in the next generation of ocean professionals through the 2023 Summer Bursary Scholarship Programme, which provides third-level students with work experience across several marine areas.

The Bursary Scholarship Programme has been running for more than 30 years, providing valuable career development and support and inspiring the next generation of marine scientists and ocean experts. The programme equips students with the skills to become ocean leaders and marine champions of the future.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, “Our Summer Bursary Scholarship Programme allows undergraduate students to work with our talented staff on a broad range of marine projects. The experience strengthens their skills and knowledge of Ireland’s marine and maritime sector. The programme also helps students make informed decisions early in their studies about potential avenues they might pursue in their marine and maritime careers. When I was an undergraduate, I did three Summer Bursaries and found they informed my career direction and developed my network.”

The Marine Institute is committed to supporting a high-performance culture driven by people, whose skills, experience and passion for the marine are central to the work we perform for the government and other stakeholders. The programme, therefore, provides undergraduates a unique opportunity to meet fellow students from other third-level colleges as well as work with Marine Institute experts and build new networks in the marine and maritime sector.

The Bursary Scholarship Programme is aimed at undergraduates of Universities, Institutes of Technology and National Institutes for Higher Education, both national and international. To participate in the programme, undergraduate students must have completed two years of study in a relevant discipline by the beginning of June 2023.

Successful candidates will work full-time with Marine Institute staff in exciting areas such as Marine and Freshwater Fisheries monitoring, the National Tide Gauge Network, SmartBay, INFOMAR, Fish Health Unit, Finance, Historical data re-construction, Human resources, Oceanography, Marine Infrastructure, Linking Art and Science and Marine Communications. The bursaries are based at its facilities in Oranmore, Galway and Newport Co. Mayo.

To apply for the 2023 Bursary Programme:

  • Please view the bursary titles available on www.marine.ie
  • Select the two bursary positions that interest you the most and in order of preference
  • Complete the online application form and submit as per the instructions
  • Application Deadline Date is Friday 24th February 2023

Online application form here

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under

The Marine Institute, in partnership with the University of Galway’s Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU), has released the latest update on the performance of Ireland’s Ocean Economy.

The report provides an update on Ireland’s ocean economy across three main economic indicators: turnover, gross value added (GVA) and employment, and provides an analysis of trends over the last five years.

The update shows that Ireland’s ocean economy in 2021 had a turnover of €4.98 billion, with a direct economic contribution, as measured by GVA, of €2.1 billion. Taking into account indirect GVA generated from ocean related activity in Ireland total GVA is €3.8bn, representing 1.6% of national output. Brexit effects on trade and fisheries as well as the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly on marine tourism and the international cruise industry meant a significant reduction in ocean economy output value in 2020.

Commenting on the results, co-author Prof Stephen Hynes, Director of SEMRU at the University of Galway stated, “The latest figures demonstrate that it has been a very turbulent period for Ireland’s ocean economy in the two years since the publication of the last report in the series. Against the backdrop of the immense challenges that have faced the sector we have seen a rebound in terms of output and employment in 2021. It continues to be a period of transition for Ireland’s ocean economy as the marine industries innovate in the face of new policies and measures aimed at dealing with the impacts of the climate and biodiversity crises.”

The performance of Ireland’s Ocean Economy

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, said, “I am delighted to receive this latest SEMRU (University of Galway) and Marine Institute report on Ireland’s Ocean Economy, which provides such useful data on the value of our marine industries and sectors. The marine sector and the employment it provides in crucial areas such as Ireland’s fisheries and seafood sector, under my own area of Ministerial responsibility, are crucially important contributors in maintaining the viability of our coastal communities. This interesting and timely report demonstrates that the marine sector as a whole has experienced significant challenges over recent years in common with international trends but is now slowly recovering. It will be particularly interesting to see if the current trends continue into 2023 and future years. We look forward to the next report and hopefully to a resurgent and vibrant marine sector both here in Ireland and internationally.”

The report also reviews demographic change in Ireland’s coastal economy, as well as highlighting developments in marine natural capital accounting. Natural capital accounting/ecosystem accounting views nature and ecosystems as assets, which provide a stream of ecosystem service benefits to society. The report highlights the importance of healthy marine ecosystem services to the ocean economy industries and Irish society more widely. In doing so it discusses the latest advancements in ocean environmental and economic accounting and how the Marine Institute and the University of Galway, in partnership with the CSO, are in the process of developing such accounts for Ireland.

Welcoming the report, Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute said, “The ever-growing demand for more integrated advice and services has seen an increasing demand for economic data and evidence that will support the state’s governance of our maritime area. This work, carried out in partnership with University of Galway, and other state organisations such as the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), is delivering a robust analytical framework to inform marine and maritime policies and planning, delivering a more equitable and sustainable ocean and coastal economies.”

Ireland’s Ocean Economy Report 2022 is available on the Marine Institute’s website here

Published in Marine Science

Research survey TC22017 will be carried out in the Irish Sea in the vicinity of the Kish Bank Lighthouse by the University of Limerick (UL) in collaboration with the Marine Institute from this Sunday 11 to Friday 16 December, subject to weather and operational constraints.

The aim of this survey the testing and development of UL’s underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) system and automation platforms.

Ship-time will be focused on trialling comprehensive multi-disciplinary control and inspection methods, utilising new technologies to enable automated offshore asset inspection.

The primary outcome of the trials is to work towards the development of a framework and technique for the inspection of offshore assets remotely.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Tom Crean (callsign EIYX3) which will display appropriate lights and signals. The operations will take place between 7am and 7pm daily. The vessel will mainly run in DP mode while the ROV operates close to Kish Bank Lighthouse.

A map and coordinates of the survey area as well as contact details and a list of equipment used can be found in Marine Notice No 84 of 2022, attached below.

Published in Marine Science

The Marine Institute hosted a Postgraduate Scholarship Symposium on Wednesday, 30th November 2022, where the postgraduate students funded under the Cullen Scholarship Programme and Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Programme presented the progress and current findings of their marine research projects on a wide range of topics.

The Cullen Scholarship Programme is not only a valuable training and capacity-building measure, but research carried out by Cullen scholars adds value to the Marine Institute’s role in providing scientific and technical advice and services to support sustainable management of Ireland’s marine resources and a sustainable ocean economy. This combination of capacity build and knowledge generation will be especially important to support recovery in maritime sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Programme aims to provide research training opportunities for scientists in oceanography, marine engineering and related marine science disciplines leading to the acquisition of a higher degree. Through the annual placement of the researchers at PLOCAN (Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands) the programme increases collaboration between Ireland and Spain through research undertaken using the test-bed and demonstration facilities in both countries.

A total of 41 scholarships with total grant aid of €3.9 million have been awarded for research under the Cullen Scholarship Programme from 2014 to 2021, with a further six Scholarships currently under contract negotiation following the 2022 funding call. Two scholarships were awarded under the Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Programme call in 2020. A list of students who presented at the Symposium is included below:

Presenter

Higher Education Institute

Project Title

Catherine Jordan

University of Galway

Space based observations of marine phytoplankton

Aileen Kennedy

University of Galway

Fisheries Data Integration and Analytics

Amy Fitzpatrick

Munster Technological University, Cork

Next generation sequencing for Norovirus Genotypes

Elliot Murphy

University of Galway

Culture optimisation, and bioactivity of selected toxic Irish microalgae

Signe Martin

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Evaluate the disease status of velvet crab, brown crab, lobster & shrimp

Colin Guilfoyle

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Biodiversity conservation and restoration in the Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park

Callum Sturrock

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Biological changes in key commercially exploited fish in the light of Climate & Ocean Change

Grace McNicholas

Trinity College Dublin

Ecology of Irish tunas

Aideen Kearney

University of Galway

Enhancing farmed Atlantic salmon quality through new production technologies

Madhuri Angel Baxla

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Machine learning assisted detection & prediction of climate change related anomalous events in complex marine systems

Ashly Kalayil Uthaman

Maynooth University

Seasonal to decadal sea level and ocean waves predictions through numerical modelling and statistical analysis

Anna Stroh

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Improving fishing survey indices though the use of spatio-temporal models

Virginia Morejon

University College Dublin

Development of a Cumulative Effects Assessment Framework for Ireland’s Marine Planning Process

Bela Klimesova

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Epidemiological investigations of the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis on Irish Atlantic salmon farms

Iain McLeod

Maynooth University

Wave-powered data buoy

Bríd O'Connor

University College Cork

The status of sensitive fish species within Irish waters and their vulnerability in relation to fishing and discarding practices

Patrick McLoughlin

Maynooth University

Recovering legacy tidal records to elucidate trends in sea level rise in Ireland

Nicolé Caputo

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Development and Implementation of molecular assays for the routine detection of toxigenic and harmful phytoplankton species in Irish coastal waters and sediments

Felix Butschek

University College Cork

Celtic Sea acoustic data analytics for improved habitat mapping and ecosystem assessment

Published in Marine Science

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, visited the Marine Institute in Galway today and received the Marine Institute’s annual 2022 Fish Stock Book. The detailed annual publication provides the latest impartial scientific advice on the status of 75 key fish stocks of interest to Ireland.

Minister Charlie McConalogue said, "I am delighted to visit the Marine Institute today and to receive the Fish Stock Book for 2022. This provides essential information reviewing the state of fish stocks in 2022 and provides management advice for the setting of quotas for 2023. I am pleased that the work done by the Marine Institute scientists, feeding into the work of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), ensures that decisions we are making at the December Fisheries Council and in negotiations with Third Countries, including the UK, are based on quality data collected over the past year and advice that has been assessed and verified. It is important that the advice and the science underpinning that advice is made accessible to industry and other stakeholders through the continued annual publication of the Fish Stock Book.”

The Minister added. “The 2022 Stock Book is showing a continued gradual increase in the number of sustainably fished stocks. This progress is giving assurance that our policy at national and EU level is making progress on delivering sustainability. Stocks of haddock, monkfish, megrim, tuna, and some of the Dublin Bay Prawn stocks have increased in recent years and continue to be sustainably fished. There are some stocks such as cod, herring and whiting that are overfished and work will continue to set management measures that will support the rebuilding of these important stocks.”

This is the 30th edition of the annual book, which contains the latest management advice used by decision makers to set sustainable catch levels and fishing quotas for 2023. The publication is an invaluable reference guide for a wide audience, including the Minister’s team of negotiators, the fishing industry, marine scientists, environmental NGOs and third level institutes.

In 2021, Irish vessels landed approximately 182,000 tonnes of wild caught fish worth more than €265 million at first sale. This, in turn, supports a valuable processing industry and other activities in our coastal communities.

Ensuring long term sustainability is a key objective of sustainable management of fish stock under the Common Fisheries policy. To that end, every year, the Marine Institute undertakes an extensive data collection programme on multiple scientific fisheries surveys, travelling approximately 23,776 nautical miles over 200 days, equating to 2,030 scientist days at sea on Ireland’s marine research vessels.

Onshore and at sea sampling programmes measure over half a million fish and estimate age for a further 56,000 individuals across all commercial species. Irish data are compiled with that from other countries through the intergovernmental organisation ICES. Marine Institute scientists play a key role in carrying out the assessments and developing the scientific evidence and advice at ICES. The Stock Book integrates the latest scientific advice from ICES with relevant information on Irish fisheries.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute said, "The scientific advice and services provided by our scientists to stakeholders are essential to supporting a sustainable ocean economy, protecting and managing our marine ecosystems and meeting EU obligations. Our scientists participate in, and lead, international working groups that assess fish stocks and provide the independent scientific advice on how many fish can be safely removed from this renewable resource. This work is essential to sustaining the ocean economy for our coastal communities."

Dr Ciaran Kelly, Director of Fisheries Ecosystem Advisory Services at the Marine Institute said, "The arrival of Ireland’s new research vessel, the RV Tom Crean this year, provides us with a state-of-the-art platform to undertake fisheries assessments in Irish waters. The RV Tom Crean and RV Celtic Explorer, enable our scientists to gather the best scientific evidence to help inform important decisions on fisheries management, and ocean sustainability.”

The 2022 Stock Book is available electronically on the Marine Institute's website and as an interactive online application. Most of the scientific work that delivers the Marine Institute's Stock Book is funded under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF).

Minister McConalogue was presented with the Stock Book during his visit to the Institute, where he was provided with a series of briefings and demonstrations on the important work of the Institute, including; Seabed Mapping – INFOMAR (Porcupine) linked to the Prawn Underwater TV Survey, Data Collection Framework (DCF) Surveys – Overview of DCF survey programme and spotlight on some of the key surveys involved, Ocean Observations, Climate and Biodiversity – Fisheries Advice (Evolving assessment and advice for shellfish fisheries). Seafood Safety Monitoring Programmes (Phytoplankton Laboratory) and Services to Government relating to regulation of aquaculture activities.

Published in Marine Science

Pupils of Scoil Iósaif Naofa, Oranmore Boys National School in Co Galway have been presented with the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champion Award for the Best STEM and Cross Curricular project by Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport.

Congratulating the children and teachers involved in their healthy ocean project, ‘Ocean Aware Because We Care’, Minister Naughton said: “The Explorers Ocean Champions Award is a fantastic example of an all-inclusive school approach to learn about our local marine environment and heritage.

“The incredible effort of the teachers, children, Explorers outreach team, and the partners from local boat builders to scientists and seabed mappers from INFOMAR shows that this project went beyond the classroom and highlights the value of teaching as a community.”

As part of the Explorers Ocean Champion project and awards initiative, the programme Manager, Camden Education Trust and the Explorers Education Programme outreach teams have worked with 28 primary schools, reaching up to 3,500 children and 124 teachers across 13 coastal counties, creating ‘healthy ocean’ projects covering themes from STEM and outdoor education to the arts and ocean literacy.

The minister added: “The title of the school project called ‘Ocean Aware Because We Care’ is a wonderful slogan, as it represents the importance of learning about our ocean at a local level, so we are able to care for it now and into the future.

“The children’s extensive learning experience from visiting the displays at Galway City Museum, Galway Atlantaquaria, beach cleans coupled with school visits from the INFOMAR seabed mapping team, is a great example of local organisations working with the schools to inspire them to learn about the ocean. This project also helps open up opportunities to inspire future marine scientists and ocean champions.”

School principal Maeve Meeneghan congratulated the lead teacher Ms Lillis and the Explorers outreach officer Noirin Burke, saying: “The Explorers Ocean Champions initiative promoted a culture of improvement, collaboration, innovation and creativity in learning and teaching beyond our imagination. It empowered staff to take on and carry out leadership roles and above all else, it awakened and built on our awareness of the natural resource on our doorstep here in Oranmore.”

Published in Environment

The black seadevil anglerfish was voted as “one of the ugliest deep-sea fish species” during the launch of the new Explorers Education Programme book and resources, The Good, The Bad + The Ugly: Deep Sea Species, which took place at the Marine Institute exhibit at the Galway Science and Technology Festival 2022.

Inspired by the work of the Marine Institute’s scientists that carry out deep-sea fishing surveys on board the research vessels each year, Cushla Dromgool-Regan — Explorers strategic education and communications manager at Camden Education Trust — said she was delighted to produce a new book and resources that showcased the amazing marine wildlife that are found in the deepest parts of the ocean in Ireland and around the world.

“I love deep-sea animals and their amazing ability to adapt under extreme conditions,” she said. “The animals selected for the book were based on some of our favourite deep-sea species that we have affectionately called the good, the bad and the ugly — because of their incredible features that help them survive. Some look cute but are deadly and others look angry but are basically looking for their next meal.”

Families were introduced to some of these amazing animals at the exhibit, where they saw a display of supersized photos of the deep-sea species. The blobfish known as Mr Blobby, the viperfish with giant fangs, the hagfish that produces slime in seconds and the goblin shark with a protruding jaw were just some of the children’s favourites.

The Explorers programme team were delighted to see their mascot, the black seadevil anglerfish come in with top votes by children “who loved learning about its bioluminescent lure, expandable stomach and huge mouth that can pretty much eat anything it can get its mouth around”, Dromgool-Regan added.

“There are over 200 species of anglerfish. Among them, the species known as the monkfish can open its mouth wide enough to engulf other animals larger than itself. It is reported that monkfish have been found with birds in their stomachs including gulls, puffins and cormorants.”

‘The workbook and lessons and activities will help develop children’s STEM skills, while also increasing their engagement in the ocean’

Patricia Orme, corporate services director with the Marine Institute congratulated the Explorers team on the production of the excellent new resources.

“This will certainly generate excitement in the classroom!” she said. “The materials are packed full of photos and graphics showing the greatest explorers, ocean zones as well as the weird and wonderful creatures that call the deep-sea home.

“The workbook and lessons and activities are also really well illustrated and we are sure will help develop children’s STEM skills, while also increasing their engagement in the ocean.”

The Good, The Bad + The Ugly: Deep Sea Species and resources are free to download from the Explorers website. The Explorers team will also be delivering deep-sea species class projects with primary schools, where teachers will receive printed copies of the introductory book and workbooks with a range of cross-curricular activities for the children.

There are over 20 activities to choose from such as making an anglerfish light card — learning about electricity and circuits — to one of the Explorers teams’ favourites: creating fashion from slime, inspired by the hag fish.

The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, the State agency for marine research and development, and delivered by outreach centres to primary schools around the country, as well as for Leave No Trace Ireland, Galway Atlantaquaria, Sea Synergy, Old Cork Waterworks – Lifetime Lab, Oceanics and SEASHOREKIDS.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Earlier today (Monday 14 November), Patrick O’Donovan, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform visited the Marine Institute’s headquarters in Oranmore, Co Galway.

The minister met with the Marine Institute’s chief executive Dr Paul Connolly as well as Michael Gillooly, director of oceans, climate and information services (OCIS); Dr Glenn Nolan, manager of ocean climate services; Alan Berry, manager of offshore renewable energy and infrastructure services; and Dr Tomasz Dabrowski, team leader in ocean climate services.

Several Office of Public Works (OPW) officials were also part of the visit today, including Robert Mooney (head of planning and climate adaptation), Mark Adamson and Vincent Hussey (flood risk assessment and management).

Minister O’Donovan visited to gain an understanding of the role of the Marine Institute in climate adaptation and particularly how data is collected and used in climate modelling and monitoring, to deal with the impacts of climate change on our coastline.

As part of the visit, the Institute team gave an overview of how the climate modelling and monitoring that it manages is integrated with other parts of the national and international approach to informing the overall climate strategy.

Dr Connolly said: “We are delighted to welcome Minister O’Donovan and colleagues from the Office of Public Works to the Marine Institute to see our facilities and exchange ideas with colleagues from the OPW which contribute to addressing impacts of climate change on our coastline.”

Gillooly added: “Forecasting ocean and climate change is one of the institute’s strategic focus areas. The Marine Institute has a range of observational infrastructures around the Irish marine area continually gathering data on the marine environment.

“Over the years, we have built up significant time-series information and this data is central to developing digital services including operational modelling which inform climate mitigation and adaptation measures in areas such as sea level rise and flooding.”

The Marine Institute’s Oceans, Climate and Information Services Group provides support for national and international marine monitoring, marine mapping, research and development as well as information technology infrastructure and digital service development.

Published in Marine Science

The Marine Institute hosted its first Post-Doctoral Fellowship Symposium on Tuesday 25 October where the fellows or their supervisors presented the progress and current research findings of their projects.

These cover a wide range of topics, from the effects of climate change on fish stocks to the monitoring of seabirds around offshore wind installations using unmanned drones.
  
Marine Institute chief executive Dr Paul Connolly said: “It is great to see the breadth of research being carried out under these fellowships which will provide data and scientific evidence to inform policy and decision making on the many current global challenges including climate change mitigation, food security and marine pollution.

“We have excellent researchers using the latest technologies to observe and monitor Irish waters, investigating solutions that will achieve a sustainable low-carbon marine sector for aquaculture, fisheries, renewable ocean energy, and tourism in Ireland. The fellows’ research will also add value to the historic climate, environmental and fisheries datasets held by the Institute.”

The aim of the Post-Doctoral Fellowships Programme is to build capacity by supporting post-doctoral research positions in defined areas of strategic priority for up to four years in duration.

Researchers funded are encouraged to become self-sustaining by successfully leveraging funds under national funding initiatives and the EU Horizon Europe Programme, as well as building further capacity through the development of research teams.

The retention of the Irish researchers carrying out high-quality marine science is of national importance, the Marine Institute says — for both Ireland’s economy and society, including researchers who have received a higher degree (MSc and PhD) under the institute’s Cullen Scholarship Programme.

A total of 17 fellowships with total grant-aid of €6.4 million has been awarded for research under the Post-Doctoral Fellowships Programme from 2019 to 2022, as detailed in the table below:

Project Title

Presenter

Higher Education Institute

Modelling Ireland’s Maritime Transport Industry (MIMTI)

Dr Daniel Cassidy

University of Galway

Expanding the Deep Field Capabilities of Marine Monitoring Platforms

Dr Aoife Hegarty

Atlantic Technological University (Sligo)

Increasing coastal resilience using terrestrial and ocean-based nature-based solutions

*Dr Eugene Farrell

University of Galway

Climate Change Fish Stock Impacts

Dr Louise Vaughan

Atlantic Technological University (Galway)

Novel Mapping of the Shallow Water INFOMAR Data Set: Towards Ireland’s first Shallow Water Atlas (NOMANS_TIF)

Dr Riccardo Arosio

University College Cork

Monitoring the presence, abundance and fate of microplastics and their associated chemicals in an Irish deep water SAC’s (MoP_up)

Dr Alicia Mateos Cárdenas

University College Cork

Use of Recyclable Materials in Sustainable Marine Turbines

Dr Yadong Jiang

University of Galway

Irish marine screening and assessment of emerging contaminants in coastal and transitional environments (I-SECURE)

*Prof Fiona Regan

Dublin City University

Accelerated Seaweed Production for an Innovative and Robust Seaweed Aquaculture in Ireland (ASPIRE)

*Dr Ronan Sulpice

University of Galway

Usage of Irish Seas and Coastal Ecosystems for Tourism Development (UISCE Tourism)

Dr John Deely

University of Galway

Waves of Change (WoC): promoting sustainable development and behavioural change through ocean literacy

*Dr Róisín Nash

Atlantic Technological University (Galway)

AI-based Bird Monitoring using Long Range Unmanned Aerial Drone (AI-Bird) for Offshore RE Installations

*Dr Gerard Dooly

University of Limerick

Shark Island: enhancing sustainable shark ecotourism in Ireland

Dr Luke Cameron

Trinity College Dublin

Progressing Marine Biodiscovery in Ireland (

Dr Laurence Jennings

University of Galway

ACCAI: Decoding Arctic Climate Change: From Archive to Insight

Dr Elwyn de la Vega

University of Galway

Improvement of MI operational modelling system and observation network of Irish marine waters using state-of-the-art model with data assimilation, model parametrization and machine learning techniques

Dr Alexander Shchepetkin

University of Galway

Sustainable Aquaculture: advancing Irish Bivalve Biomass Production by Promoting Seed Abundance and more Disease resilient Stocks (SusAqua)

Dr Sharon Lynch

University College Cork

 

*Presentation by Supervisor.

These projects are supported by the Marine Institute and funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Government of Ireland.

Published in Marine Science

The annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS) for 2022 will be carried out by the Marine Institute off the North West, West and South Coasts of Ireland from next Monday 31 October to Friday 16 December.

The IGFS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of approximately 170 fishing hauls of 30-minute duration each in ICES areas VIa, VIIb, VIIg and VIIj.

Fishing will take place within a two-nautical-mile radius of the positions indicated in the appendices to Marine Notice No 73 of 2022, which can be downloaded below.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) which will display appropriate lights and signals. 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 two-nautical-mile area around the tow mid-points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period outlined above.

Further details can be found in the Marine Notice attached below.

Published in Fishing
Page 1 of 42

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

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