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Displaying items by tag: Marine Institute

The Minister for the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D. met virtually today with the members of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum (NIFF).

Minister McConalogue welcomed those representatives from the six Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums who were attending the NIFF for the first time, noting that the process of renewing Forum membership has been working well.

“I am delighted with the level of commitment that people have shown in engaging with the Forums because, without that commitment, this initiative would not have emerged as the influential voice for the inshore sector that it has become,” the Minister said.

The Minister discussed issues, that are important to the inshore sector, with the Forum members, including the recommendations in the final report of the Seafood Sector Task Force. The Minister thanked the NIFF for its participation in the Task Force and the valuable contributions it made to those discussions.

The Minister said, “I am urgently examining the Task Force report with a view to quickly implementing a comprehensive response to the impacts of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement on our fishing sector and coastal communities.”

The Minister and inshore representatives also discussed a range of other topics including the “hook and line” mackerel fishery and the sustainable management of the brown crab fishery, which is one of the most important stocks for inshore fishers and for the seafood sector.

The meeting included contributions from Bord Bia, the Marine Institute and Bord Iascaigh Mhara. The Minister thanked all those attending for their constructive engagement throughout the meeting.

Published in Fishing

To celebrate Science Week, the Marine Institute and the Explorers Education Programme are supporting the 2021 Galway Science and Technology Festival, which kicked off on Sunday 7 November and continues to Sunday 21 November.

“We are delighted to engage with parents and children again this year to inspire the next generation to be ocean champions and pursue marine careers,” said the Marine Institute’s Patricia Orme.

The Explorers Education Programme and Galway Atlantaquaria are providing school classes with guided tours of Ireland’s largest native species aquarium.

Primary school children will receive an Explorers resource pack and access the aquarium’s virtual tour. Explorers’ Wild About Wildlife on the Seashore short films will also be showcased for Science Week.

Dive beneath the surface to explore our deep sea in The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science exhibition at Galway City Museum. Free to visitors, the gallery features new exhibitions on climate change, surveys at sea, and life along the seashore.

In the ROV simulator, explore ocean depths like a marine scientist and discover cold-water corals, shipwrecks and a rare shark nursery.

Visitors to the exhibition can pick up a free children's activity book to continue exploring the marine world from home.

Those engaging virtually can learn about our ocean and climate with ‘The Science Guy’ Mark Langtry in the Marine Institute’s Sea Science Series available on the Galway Science & Technology Festival website.

Mark brings the wonders of sea science to the screen with his entertaining, sometimes explosive, and educational sea science shows. The four-part series includes episodes on ocean acidification, creating ocean currents, and experiments on temperature and salinity.

And discover how scientists at the Marine Institute are increasing our understanding of the ocean through their research with the ‘Our People’ video series, which profiles the study and career paths of our people and the work they do at the Marine Institute.

Meanwhile, the Marine Institute is running a competition on the Galway Science & Technology Festival Facebook page. View the short film Ireland's Marine Life and guess the correct number of species featured for the chance to win a LEGO City Ocean Exploration Submarine Set.

In Ireland’s Marine Life, follow Fiadh, a gannet journeying over and underwater and meeting sea creatures along the way — from tiny hermit crabs and jellyfish to dolphins and basking sharks.

Published in Marine Science

The annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS) for 2021 will be carried out by the Marine Institute off the North West, West and South Coasts of Ireland from Saturday 30 October to Tuesday 14 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.

As part of the requirements for the 2021 survey, fishing will take place within a two-nautical-mile radius of the positions indicated in the appendices to Marine Notice No 57 of 2021, 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

Primary classrooms throughout Ireland are celebrating cephalopods throughout the month of October with the launch of the Explorers Education Programme’s new educational resources focusing on squid.

Marine scientists around the world have been studying squid for many years, learning about their evolution, what they eat and what eats them, as well as their habitats and distribution in the global ocean,” says the Marine Institute’s Patricia Orme.

“When talking about cephalopods, we often think of the charismatic octopus, or the cuttlefish and their ability to change colours. However, squid also have special qualities, including the ability to see long distances in the dark, and being able to fly above the water.”

Squid have also been a point of interest for storytellers, artists, film-makers and museum curators the world over, says Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Camden Education Trust.

“Led by the work of scientists, researchers and storytellers, the Explorers team are delighted to have produced a series of resources that will inspire teachers and children to learn more about the ocean, and possibly become ocean explorers themselves,” she adds.

Find the new resources on the Explorers microsite, and follow the Explorers Education Programme on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more fun facts about squid … and even the fearsome Kraken!

Published in Marine Science

The Department of Transport advises that an analogue survey consisting of multibeam, side-scan sonar and magnetometer will be carried out off the South Coast of Ireland by the Marine Institute on behalf of Providence Resources from Saturday 23 to Sunday 31 October, weather permitting.

In addition to the analogue survey, seabed samples and camera imagery will be acquired at approximately 10 stations in the survey area.

The survey will be conducted in Block 48/24 Barryroe, in the North Celtic Basin, around 45–50km from the south coast of Ireland, and will be undertaken by the RV Celtic Voyager (callsign EIQN). The vessel will be towing a side-scan sonar and magnetometer from time to time with cables of up to 300m long.

As this vessel will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre when surveying, other vessels are requested to keep a wide berth. The vessel will display appropriate lights and signals.

For details of coordinates of the survey area, see Marine Notice No 55 of 2021 which is available to download below.

Published in News Update

What is the ‘blue bioeconomy’? Who are the people working on it in Ireland and where do they get support?

Marine scientist and influencer Finn van der Aar will host the first in a series of online events later this month for those who want to learn more about this developing sector and the innovative researchers and businesses operating within it.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will also showcase the relevant supports available and an overview of projects already operating within the blue bioeconomy.

“Bioeconomy-The Blue Perspective” takes place next Friday morning 22 October from 10am to 11.30am. For the agenda and details of how to register, see the event’s Eventbrite page.

This event is organised by the Páirc na Mara Marine Innovation Development Centre, Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Marine Institute as part of Bioeconomy Ireland Week.

Published in Marine Science

The Explorers Education Programme has been expanded to deliver modules to primary schools in all of Ireland’s coastal counties.

Established in Galway over 15 years ago and funded by the Marine Institute, the Explorers programme now reaches schools all around the coast — including Leitrim, the coastal county with the shortest coastline — via outreach teams offering a wide range of marine science modules for the classroom and field trips to the seashore.

With this expansion, the programme says its teams will also be able to offer online and blended learning modules to classes from inland counties.

“With an increasing awareness of ocean literacy and the value of ocean sciences in Ireland, we can’t wait to share all of what the Explorers team have to offer with primary schools in these new counties,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, strategic education and communications manager with the Camden Education Trust.

“We have been very lucky to have been working with a group of marine education experts and outreach officers for a number of years, and we are now extremely pleased to be working with additional new members joining the team.

“They have all showed how extremely passionate they are about sharing their ocean knowledge with children, as well as supporting teachers with the delivery of marine-themed content that can be used on the primary schools curriculum.”

Explorers team members will be working with primary school teachers introducing a range of exciting marine projects and resources over the coming months, covering topics such as marine biodiversity and environmental awareness to a range of STEM topics leading up to Maths Week in October and Science Week in November.

“The teams can reach classes delivering face-to-face project modules held in the class, seashore safaris, as well as through online and blended learning. Our new Explorers Back to School Brochure also provides information about our modules and links to the centres for bookings,” Dromgool-Regan said.

The outreach teams that deliver the Explorers programme to primary school children include: Leave No Trace Ireland; Galway Atlantaquaria; Sea Synergy Marine Awareness Centre in Co Kerry; Old Cork Waterworks Experience; Oceanics Surf School in Tramore; and Marine Dimensions in Bray.

Enquiries about bookings can be made directly to the above centres. Schools and classes located within inland counties should be sent to the Explorers support services team at Galway Atlantaquaria to check on an outreach centre’s availability.

The Explorers Education Programme also has a wide range of teaching materials that are freely available on the explorers.ie website.

Published in Marine Science

Professor Dave Reid of the Marine Institute received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) at their virtual Annual Science Conference 2021.

Prof Reid is a principal investigator in the Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services team at the Marine Institute. As an ecosystem scientist, he is involved in a number of EU-funded projects and leads a team of students and researchers.

The ICES Outstanding Achievement Award honours scientists who have made a notable contribution to the organisation of ICES in the field of marine science over a sustained period of time.

Prof Reid’s first leadership involvement with ICES was chairing the Planning Group on the HAC (file type) Data Exchange Format, a role he held for six years and since then he has participated in 25 working groups, 30 workshops, two strategic initiatives, four steering groups and the Science Committee.

He has also chaired 10 workshops, eight working groups and two steering groups, and is currently an active member of 12 of these groups.

Congratulating Prof Reid, the Marine Institute’s interim chief executive Michael Gillooly said the award recognised his contributions to marine science and his longstanding commitment to ICES.

“It is a great honour for Prof Reid to be acknowledged by his colleagues at the Marine Institute and the international scientific community for his endeavours in science, research, and leadership,” he added.

Prof Reid says he is most proud of his involvement in the ICES Working Group called WKIrish, an ecosystem-based approach to fishery management for the Irish Sea.

“This was a collaboration between ecosystem scientists, with fish stock assessors and fishers in the industry,” he said. “We were trying to explain why the Irish Sea had become less successful as a fishing ground. The fishers had asked for this study, and they really engaged with it. They were with us for the whole journey, and the study had great results.

“The most inspiring aspect of my career by far is the chance to work with young scientists at the start of their career. I’ve always found this incredibly stimulating — they are smart, lively, switched on and sparky people.

“Working with people like that not only keeps me semi-young, but I also get to train them, see them develop and continue on to careers in marine science and some of my ex-graduates are now working at the European Commission and governments around the world.”

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under

In celebration of National Heritage Week 2021, the Marine Institute has launched a new Interactive Marine Archive where you can explore two rare historical collections on Irish sea and inland fisheries.

The digitised collections include the Sea and Inland Fisheries reports from 1839-1987, which show what fish were being taken from our seas, where they were landed and their values at market annually, among other revealing tidbits.

Also available is the Scientific Investigations collection which spans from 1901-1926 and contains papers and journal articles of new scientific discoveries of that time, such as how Maude Delap closed the life cycle of the jellyfish and the deep-sea documentations of Anne Massey.

“These reports contain valuable data about the pre-exploitation state of Irish fisheries,” said Stephanie Ronan, librarian at the Marine Institute. “Digitising these historical books and extracting key information enables these data to be visualised and explored, making them easily and widely accessible to researchers and the public today.”

Dr Maurice Clarke, marine ecosystems lead at the Marine Institute, added: “It is only in examining the past, and beginning our journey of discovery with the appropriate baseline data, that we can offer advice on the impacts of climate change and fishing to government.

“For example, the work done a hundred years ago on the herring fisheries in Ireland — which yielded tens of thousands of tonnes annually, while today the yields are in the mere hundreds of tonnes — shows the impacts that climatic changes had even then.”

An interactive timeline takes you through 150 years of Irish fisheries history and the highlights for each year from the Sea and Inland Fisheries reports and Scientific Investigations series.

The Habitat Map displays the location of oyster beds licenses granted in 1875 throughout Ireland. Select a location and find out where the license was granted, to whom, when and the area of the beds in acres, roods and perches. The archive also includes annual landing data for species such as cod, haddock and salmon.

You can explore the work and achievements of many of the key scientists in Ireland, from Ernest Holt, George Farran and Arthur Went to the Marine Institute’s John Molloy.

And find out more about the vessels that have supported Irish fisheries research throughout the years, from the Helga — a 150ft steam liner used in 1901 — to the Marine Institute’s modern RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager which are used by scientists today.

The Interactive Marine Archive project was funded under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund Marine Biodiversity Scheme.

Published in Coastal Notes

The Marine Institute (MI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Met Éireann (MÉ) have published a report on "The Status of Ireland's Climate".

This is the second comprehensive analysis of "essential" climate data collected in Ireland. It confirms and updates findings from the 2012 report and details how global changes are being reflected in our atmosphere, oceans and our landscape.

The report was prepared by MaREI, University College Cork and funded by The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Met Éireann (MÉ) and the Marine Institute (MI).

• Long term observations in Ireland provide important insights on the causes and consequences of Climate Change;
• Increases in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have been observed in Ireland, and reflect the increasing global levels of these key drivers of global warming;
• Global warming has resulted in Ireland's climate becoming warmer and wetter;
• Sea level rise, increased ocean acidity, and higher ocean temperatures are also observed in our oceans and coastal areas;
• Ireland's ocean and terrestrial ecosystems are responding to these changes, resulting in changes in ocean species and a longer growing season on land.

Welcoming the publication of the report Laura Burke, EPA Director General, said: "Climate observations provide the basis for our understanding of the realities of climate change here in Ireland, in Europe, and globally. As a Party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Paris Agreement, Ireland has committed to carry out the range of climate observations outlined in this report. These data enable bodies such as the IPCC to carry out their analysis of global changes. Importantly, they are needed to inform effective responses to the changes that are happening here in Ireland.

Today's report brings together the evidence of the changes that have occurred across Ireland's environment, from both long term detailed measurements on our land and in our oceans and atmosphere and from linked data from satellite observations from programmes such as Copernicus."

The scientific data monitored and collated by GCOS Ireland represents Ireland's long- standing contribution to the international scientific effort of providing the fundamental data needed to monitor our changing climate. GCOS Ireland collects scientific data on more than 40 Essential Climate Variables, identified by the UNFCCC, across atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial domains.

Highlighting the importance of the Status of Ireland's Climate report Eoin Moran, Director, Met Éireann said: "As citizen's in Ireland and around the world are now seeing the impacts of Climate Change, through evermore extreme weather events, fires and flooding etc; high quality observations of the climate are crucial to help inform society's response to the Climate Emergency. Scientific long-term monitoring of the climate underpins climate research and the development of climate services which support policy making and decision making in the face of the urgency of the climate crisis.

The Status of Ireland's Climate report not only includes invaluable data provided to GCOS as Ireland's contribution to the global climate monitoring effort but also informs development and improvement of national climate monitoring infrastructure to provide ever better understanding of our climate system and to optimise national climate monitoring capacity. This long-term climate monitoring allows us to best compare changes occurring in Ireland's climate to those across Europe and the rest of the world and to tailor our national response into the future".

Commenting on the findings, Mick Gillooly, Interim CEO, Marine Institute, said: "Long term climate monitoring programmes are needed to provide the evidence required to support national climate policy and action. It is through sustainable long term monitoring networks that we can measure the current state of our climate, and how much it has changed by, which in turn gives us an indication of how much more it is likely to change by into the future."

Key findings from the report


Atmosphere
• The annual average surface air temperature in Ireland has increased by over 0.9oC over the last 120 years, with a rise in temperature being observed in all seasons.
• Annual precipitation was 6 per cent higher in the period 1989 to 2018, compared to the 30-year period 1961 to 1990.
• The concentration of the main Climate driver: greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide - measured in Ireland, continued to increase since 2012 with long term implications for our climate.

Oceans
• Satellite observations indicate that the sea level around Ireland has risen by approximately 2-3mm per year since the early 1990s.
• Measurements in the surface water to the west of Ireland indicate an increase in ocean acidity which is comparable to the rate of change in oceans around the world.
• The average sea surface temperature measured at Malin Head has been 0.47ºC higher over the last ten years compared to the period 1981-2010.

Land
• There is an increase in river flows across most of Ireland since the early 70s. However, there is evidence in recent years of an increase in potential drought conditions especially in the east.
• Land cover observations since 1990 show increases in the areas covered by artificial surfaces and forest whilst there is a decrease in wetland areas.

The report also identified that progress has been made in several areas of Ireland's observation infrastructure, resourcing, analyses and co-ordination, since the 2012 Climate status report. Nonetheless, further action is needed to ensure the national climate observation system is fit for purpose for the coming decades. This includes continued maintenance of existing climate monitoring programmes and infrastructure, the transition of climate observations to long-term sustainable programmes, and investigate potential to monitor essential climate variables not currently observed in Ireland.

Links to relevant materials

The Status of Ireland's Climate, 2020

Summary brochure

Climate Ireland, Ireland's Climate Status Tool, provides interactive access to the Climate Status Report Ireland (CSRI) 2020.

Contact Information

Environmental Protection Agency:
Emily Williamson/Aileen Moon, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours) or [email protected]

Met Éireann
Bonnie Diamond, Communications Meteorologist 01-8064255 or [email protected]

Marine Institute
Sheila Byrnes, Communications Manager, 087-8155271 or [email protected]

Published in Marine Science
Page 1 of 39

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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