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In partnership with four other EU local authority areas Clare County Council has received European Union (EU) funding totalling €388,000 to increase participation in maritime activities and to encourage young people across Clare to consider maritime related careers.

The Local Authority’s Social Development Directorate, through its remit to increase overall participation levels in sport and physical activity in Clare, has been awarded the EU Erasmus+ programme funding as part of the ‘Atlantic Youth Project’.

“As the only Irish partner in the European-wide project, Clare County Council is tasked with encouraging and developing the maritime culture of young Europeans, through the practise of water sports and maritime education at school,” explained Tim Forde, Head of Sport & Recreation, Clare County Council.

He continued, “Over the three-year term of this project, the Local Authority will facilitate the involvement of a significant number of second level school children with opportunities to participate in water sports in our county whilst also participating in organised maritime education opportunities that will be EU-funded.”

Mr. Forde and Liam Conneally, Director of Social Development, Clare County Council, represented the Local Authority at the project launch and inaugural meeting of the participating partners which was held recently in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, home to the Lead Partner, Cim Alto Minho.

Mr. Conneally noted that Clare had been selected to participate in the ‘Atlantic Youth Project’ due to its “ready access to sea and river waters surrounding the County, maritime heritage, existing maritime infrastructure for hosting project activities, and Clare County Council’s lengthy track record of delivering education outreach programmes.”

“With partners in Spain, Portugal, France, UK and Ireland (Clare County Council), the Atlantic Youth Project will also contribute to the implementation of the EU’s Atlantic Maritime Strategy, through the development of a maritime culture among young people which in turn will encourage the upcoming generation to consider maritime sport, recreation and industry as a career path,” he added.

Over the coming months Clare County Council will be working with sporting and educational stakeholders across the County and will confirm details of the rollout of the ‘Atlantic Youth Project’ in County Clare in early 2018.

Published in Youth Sailing
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#Jobs - Inland Fisheries Ireland’s R&D division has secured external funding to undertake a series of research projects, which are currently seeking to recruit a number of staff as research technicians and fisheries assistants.

Interviews will take place in mid to late March to fill a number of positions for periods of up to a maximum of 10 months’ duration during 2017, and a panel for subsequent positions will be compiled following interview.

All positions will be based at the current IFI head office in Dublin’s Citywest Business Campus.

Research Technician
The appointee will provide technical support to the Senior Research Officer (SRO) and project team in the compilation and analysis of data of relevant biotic and abiotic information for fish species in Irish lakes, rivers or estuaries, using standard fish sampling methodologies.

Principal duties and responsibilities include:

  • Data collection: Carry out and lead field surveys when necessary, collect data on the abundance, composition and age structure of fish populations from designated waterbodies, collect data on the distribution, biology and ecology of fish species in designated waterbodies.
  • Data analysis: Collate and input data into project databases and present data in report format as required, data mining, conduct statistical analyses (descriptive and analytical) of data sets, including using relevant statistical software, manage fisheries datasets for the project, assure quality of data including editing and verification of consistency, create tables, charts and graphics with narrative text, interpret data, analyse and prepare reports.
  • Reporting: Maintain raw data and all other records in a clear concise format and compile and maintain all records in a manner compatible with GIS.
  • Other duties: Liaise with the project team and stakeholders and attend/contribute to information meetings as required, liaise with other IFI staff working on related projects as required.

Requirements for this position include a relevant diploma or degree or equivalent, and a full driving licence valid in the State. Salary is at the first point of the technician scale (as at 1 January 2016): €32,231 to €51,717 (including 1 LSI).

Fisheries Assistant
The appointee or appointees will assist the Senior Research officer and team in the compilation and analysis of relevant biotic and abiotic information for fish species in Irish lakes, rivers or estuaries, using standard fish sampling methodologies.

The successful candidate or candidates will be expected to:

  • Assist on field surveys (if necessary).
  • Undertake processing of sample material and providing assistance to the SRO with sample analysis.
  • Assist in the processing of fish samples, collate scale, otolith and opercular bone samples to provide information on age profile and growth rates of fish species, and input data into IFI databases.
  • Maintain raw data and all other records in a clear concise format.
  • Compile and maintain all records in a manner compatible with GIS.
  • Liaise with other IFI staff working on related projects as required.

Requirements for this position include a Leaving Certificate or equivalent with minimum Grade C on at least two Higher Level papers, to include one of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography or Maths, and a full driving licence valid in the State. Salary is at the first point of the fisheries officer/fisheries assistant scale (as at 1 January 16): €22,907 to €36,235 (including 2 LSI’s).

Applications, (a cover letter and up-to-date CV) should be sent to [email protected] by 5pm on Friday 3 March. Please quote either ‘Fish’ for Fisheries Assistant roles or ‘Tech’ for the Technician role,s depending on which you wish to apply for. Late applications will not be processed.

Short listing will be based on information provide in the cover letter and CV. Canvassing will disqualify. Inland Fisheries Ireland is an equal opportunities employer. All enquiries to [email protected]

Published in Jobs
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#Jobs - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is currently seeking to recruit a number of staff as fishery officers nationally for periods of up to six months during 2017.

Fisheries officers will be primarily concerned with the implementation and enforcement of the provision of the Fisheries Acts, Water Pollution Acts and other relevant statutory provisions. They are required to:

  • Provide, in co-operation with other fisheries staff, comprehensive conservation and protection services, inland and at sea, within any part of a fisheries district and/or any other area assigned within one or more fisheries districts.
  • Provide, in co-operation with other fisheries staff, comprehensive improvement, and development and fisheries management support services within any part of a fisheries district and/or any other area assigned within one or more fisheries districts.

A number of positions will be concerned with assisting either directly or indirectly in fisheries related research projects. The full job specification is available HERE. Please note a full driving licence valid in the State is required.

Applications (a cover letter and up-to-date CV) should be emailed to [email protected] by 5pm on Monday 27 February quoting ‘HR/FO/2017’. Late applications will not be processed. All enquiries to [email protected]

Salary will be at the first point of the Fishery Officer Scale (as of 1 January 2016) plus an unsocial hours allowance, which will be paid at either 50% or 100% relative to the number of unsocial hours worked.

IFI is an equal opportunities employer. Canvassing will disqualify.

Published in Jobs

#Jobs - The Marine Institute requires a laboratory analyst to provide support to a two-year research project investigating norovirus, hepatitis A virus, hepatitis E virus and sapovirus concentrations in oysters.

The work will primarily involve laboratory based detection of the viruses in oysters using existing and proposed molecular procedures. In addition, there may be some elements of field work including sampling and environmental monitoring.

This temporary specified-purpose contract of employment is funded under the FIRM programme and will run for a duration of up to two years. The successful candidate will be on probation for the first six months.

To apply, a CV and letter of application summarising experience and skill set applicable to the position should be emailed to [email protected] or posted to Human Resources at the Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Galway. All correspondence for this post should quote reference LA-FIRM-Jan 2017

All applications for this post should be received by the Marine Institute before noon next Tuesday 7 February. Late applications will not be accepted.

A detailed job description is available from the Marine Institute website HERE.

Published in Jobs

#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

#HYC - Howth Yacht Club is recruiting for the role of Sailing Development Officer.

The successful applicant will help create and implement a programme that will increase participation in sailing and other marine activities, devise marketing initiatives to promote/fund the sport of sailing, and increase club membership.

The skills required for this role include a passion for sport and an ability to devise and implement programmes to specific objectives which will be set by the successful applicant in conjunction with the club co-ordinator.

Applicants must have a proven ability to plan and successfully implement such programmes, and previous involvement in this type of role would be a positive attribute.

It should be noted that the club already provides sailing courses for all ages, including a world-class youth performance programme, all of which will be reviewed and enhanced.

The club also wishes to target new activities and markets, including large corporate organisations that wish to be linked with a facility that can provide an attractive and enjoyable lifestyle for their employees.

Applicants should have the skills to be innovative and self-motivated to achieve the set objectives, and should also have strong communicative and IT skills.

The Sailing Development Officer will report to the Commodore of Howth Yacht Club or another nominated officer. It would be expected that the successful applicant will report on a defined basis every two weeks to the nominated officer. Renumeration will be negotiated with the successful applicant and will be performance-related.

Applications should be sent by email to [email protected] or by post to:

The Commodore,
Howth Yacht Club CLG,
Middle Pier,
Howth Harbour,
Howth,
Dublin D13 E6V3

Published in Jobs
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#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

#CourseDispute - Controversy over the approval of maritime college courses "raises questions" about Ireland's marine authorities, says a Donegal TD.

As Donegal Now reports, Thomas Pringle was speaking in the Dáil after Transport Minister Shane Ross confirmed some 400 seafarers who graduated a refresher training course at the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) would have their qualifications recognised by the Marine Survey Office (MSO).

All mariners are required to have completed the refresher training by 1 January next year – but the NMCI says the MSO refused to accredit its relevant course despite approval being sought at least 18 months ago.

Deputy Pringle noted that the NMCI "still hasn’t heard from the MSO. The minister confirmed there is bad blood between the office and the maritime college.

"If this is the case, this is not normal and raises questions around capacity of the office to administer marine matters.”

Donegal Now has more on the story HERE.

Published in Jobs

#Jobs - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is recruiting a Fish Community Modeller on a temporary basis (circa 18 months) to work in its research department based in Citywest with occasional requirement to travel to Queens University Belfast (QUB) as part of the role.

The successful candidate will report to a senior research officer and will be tasked with developing a realistic mathematical model of predator-prey interactions in lake fish communities.

The model will take account of existing knowledge relating to focal species, including population dynamics, life-history strategies, feeding ecology, behaviour and physiology and will be used to evaluate the ecological consequences of fisheries management strategies.

They will also be required to contribute to publication of peer review papers and disseminate results at conferences and stakeholder groups; to add to modelling capacity at IFI and contribute to relevant research activities as appropriate; and to participate in the fisheries modelling group at QUB.

The successful applicant will be expected to:

  • Quickly understand the management context of the project and available data.
  • Design, build in software and test a two-species model of fish population dynamics.
  • Interact productively with staff in the IFI research team and contribute to the fisheries modelling group at QUB.
  • Produce publications and material to support and promote the correct use of the model in fisheries management and policy.
  • Have proven ability to build and test quantitative computation models in software, including coding in at least one third-generation language (C, C++, etc) and a mathematical scripting language (Matlab, R, etc).
  • Perform other duties as may be allocated by the senior research Officer or his/her nominee.
  • Have a Bachelor's degree in a relevant area.
  • Be available from 1 September 2016.
  • Have a full driving licence valid in the State.

The successful candidate will ideally possess:

  • A PhD in a relevant area.
  • Evidence of successful peer review publication.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with an emphasis on communication of science to diverse stakeholders.

This is a temporary appointment, estimated to be for a period of 18 months. Salary range is on the HEO Salary Scale (as of 1 November 2013), €40,675-€57,405, 11-point scale including 2 LSIs (appointment will be made on the first point of the scale).

Applications for this role should be submitted in the form of a cover letter and CV quoting reference ‘Modeller’ to [email protected] by 5pm on Monday 18 July 2016.

Applications will be shortlisted on the basis of information provided in the cover letter and CV. Late applications will not be accepted. Canvassing will disqualify. Inland Fisheries Ireland is an equal opportunities employer.

Published in Jobs

#MarineInstitute - The annual Marine Institute bursar programme begins this month with 28 students from various third-level institutions starting summer work placements.

Over eight weeks, the students will work in a variety of areas including salmon assessments, fish sampling at the ports, shellfish assessment, maritime economics, education, application development and oceanographic sciences.

"The work experience programme gives students from a wide variety of disciplines a chance to further their knowledge and research in their particular area of interest and to expand their professional networks within Ireland and internationally," said Helen McCormick, senior laboratory analyst at the Marine Institute and co-ordinator of the bursar programme.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the placements will give students practical and hands-on experience at different locations around Ireland, including the offices and laboratories at the Marine Institute, Galway; Wilton Place, Dublin; and Burrishoole Catchment, Newport, Co Mayo. Some students will also be located at other locations around the country in counties Cork, Limerick, Derry and Waterford.

The summer bursar programme has been ongoing since the 1960s and is a highly sought-after work experience programme in the marine science sector and continues to offer a promising gateway into the expanding areas of marine science and research in Ireland.

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, congratulated all successful bursars on this year's programme. "The Institute is delighted to support this excellent learning opportunity for Irish students as well as highlight the future employment opportunities for undergraduates and postgraduates within the marine sector," he said.

Published in Jobs
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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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