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Displaying items by tag: Explorers Education Programme

#MarineScience - Applications are now open for primary schools that wish to take part in marine-related activities and workshops for the 2015-16 school year as part of the Explorers Education Programme.

The programme's new module system, introduced in 2014, "allows for more students and teachers to get involved in marine projects, seashore safaris, having aquariums in the class, or taking part in a number of exciting marine workshops at their local education centre or at Galway Atlantaquaria," says Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Marine Institute.

These modules include:

  • Explorers Aquarium in the Classroom: This involves students running a saltwater aquarium of native species for up to four weeks in their classroom.
  • Explorers Marine Project: Students will carry out a marine based project in school. Project topics can include Marine Biodiversity, Marine Litter, or science on the Research Vessel Celtic Explorer.
  • Explorers Seashore Safari: Accompanied by the Explorers Education Officer, the students will visit their local shoreline to examine the plant and animal life present and their adaptations to life.
  • Explorer Workshops at Galway, Mayo, Clare and Sligo education centres: These workshops will last around two hours and will cover the Real Map of Ireland, marine biodiversity around Ireland, characteristics of living things and a squid dissection. Teachers will be asked to complete one Explorer's lesson plan post visit and a half day visit by an Explorers Education Officer will review this work and recap on the materials covered.

Science workshops will also be available to all Explorers schools at Galway Atlantaquaria between October 2015 and March 2016 at a discounted price of €5 per students for a two-hour workshop. For more information call 091-585100.

Teachers can send their applications to their local education centres in Galway, Clare, Mayo and Sligo highlighting how the Explorers Education Programme will be beneficial to their class, school and community. Applications must be submitted before 4pm on Friday 18 September.

Application forms and additional information about the modules, as well as free teaching materials, are available to download at www.explorers.ie. For any queries relating to the Explorers Education Programme contact [email protected]

The Explorers programme continues to run in Dublin and Cork in association with the Blackrock Education Centre, the National Sea Life Centre Bray and the Lifetime Lab in Cork. More information about their workshops will be issued later in the year.

The Explorers Education Programme is supported by the Marine Institute, and is funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Irish Government.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - Over 900 primary school students got to experience the wonders of the Irish marine environment at the Lifetime Lab in Cork where they participated in the Explorers Education Programme workshops from 2 to 13 March.

The pupils learned about marine animals and plants living in Irish waters. They also took part in water experiments involving water pressure, the power of the sea, making submarines and periscopes, as well as learning about the Real Map of Ireland, showing Ireland's marine territory and resources.

Lifetime Lab manager Mervyn Horgan said: "We are delighted to partner with the Marine Institute for the Explorers series of workshops, as we are always looking for new and innovative ways of engaging students in science education. Raising the awareness of marine science to Cork classrooms can only bring long-term benefits.

"We perceive the Lifetime Lab as an extra classroom for every school in the city and county, a science nursery for institutions whose high level graduates ensure that Cork has a well educated and highly skilled workforce long into the future."

Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Marine Institite added that the Explorers programme "focuses on Ireland's two greatest resources – our young people and our vast marine territory.

"Inspiring students' interest in marine through the Explorers programme, teachers are able to easily include marine themed lessons based on the Irish curriculum already taught in national schools.

"Ireland is on its journey of realising the benefits of a thriving marine sector, and by engaging students interest in marine at a young age, we hope it will encourage them to consider some of the exciting wide range of careers in the marine - especially through some of Ireland's modern marine research centres around the country."

The Explorers Education Programme brings the excitement of the sea into the classroom and has already been successfully rolled out to some 12 schools in the greater Dublin and Wicklow area as well as reaching 90 primary schools in the West of Ireland in Mayo, Galway, Clare and Sligo during the 2014/15 school year. The Cork project is a collaborative effort between the Marine Institute, Galway Atlantaquaria and Lifetime Lab.

Further information and lesson plans are available at website at www.explorers.ie. For information about Explorers workshops, contact Lifetime Lab 021 494 1500 or www.lifetimelab.ie.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - Applications for the Explorers Education Programme are now open for primary schools in Galway, Clare, Mayo and Sligo that wish to take part in marine-related activities and workshops for the 2014/2015 school year.

“With over 50 primary school groups participating in the revised programme last year in Galway, we are delighted to announce the revised modules are now also being offered in Counties Clare and Mayo," said Explorers education officer Dr Noirin Burke, who added that "with support from Sligo Education Centre, we are also extending a pilot programme of Explorer workshops to be held at the centre.”

The new module system allows for more students and teachers to get involved in marine projects, seashore safaris, having aquariums in the class, or taking part in a number of exciting marine workshops involving maths, engineering and science.

Teachers can send their applications to their local educations centres in Counties Galway, Clare, Mayo and Sligo highlighting how the Explorers Education Programme will be beneficial to their class, school and community.

The modules include:

  • Explorers Aquarium in the Classroom: This involves students running a saltwater aquarium of native species for up to four weeks in their classroom.
  • Explorers Marine Project: Students will learn about materials and energy and forces, using the theme of 'the marine and our ocean'.
  • Explorers Seashore Safari: Accompanied by the Explorers education officer, the students will visit their local shoreline to examine the plant and animal life present and their adaptations to life.
  • Explorer Workshops at Galway Atlantaquaria: Workshops will be carried out at Galway Atlantaquaria between October 2014 and February 2015, which include maths, engineering and science.

There is also a module for primary schools in Co Sligo. whereby Explorer workshops will be carried out at Sligo Education Centre by the Explorers education officer, introducing students to the marine through experiments and hands-on activities.

For more information about the modules and workshops, please see the Explorers Marine Education Programme Application Form. For further queries contact Dr Burke at [email protected].

The Explorers Education Programme continues to run in Dublin and Cork in association with Blackrock Education Centre, Sea Life Centre Bray and the Lifetime Lab Cork. More information about their workshops will be issued later in the year.

Explorer teaching materials are available to download free of charge at www.explorers.ie

Published in Marine Science

#Marine - Local primary school teachers in Galway have just finished a week-long training course (1-5 July) on how to incorporate marine studies into their schools through fun activities and projects.

Sea for Society (EU FP7 project) research last year across a number of EU countries found that ‘ignorance’ and ‘lack of understanding’ are key barriers to the development of a sustainable marine ecosystem.

The Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria tackled this barrier by introducing teachers to their local seashore, using it as a unique teaching resource.

“Through the Explorers Education Programme and teachers' training course, we provide an opportunity for teachers to learn about their local seashore as well develop an understanding about the importance of Ireland’s marine resource and ocean wealth,” said the Marine Institute's Cushla Dromgool-Regan.

Offering a wide range of cross-curricular activities involving science, mathematics, English, geography, history and art, the programme is intended to help teachers feel more confident and enabled to innovate and inspire students in learning about the marine.

”The Explorers' annual teacher’s training course has been run through the Galway Education centre for nearly eight years and continues to be popular with teachers, booking up early each year," Dromgool-Regan added.

One of the teachers on the most recent course, Bróna Smyth of Scoil Mhuire in Maree, said it was "invaluable in offering practical concepts that can be used on the seashore and in class by interlinking the subjects.

"The hands-on approach, learning about species and seaweeds, making seashore keys, collecting marine litter data for graphs, completing water experiments to creating seashore poetry and stories are all key to embedding the understanding of how important the ocean is and how it impacts our daily lives.”

Primary school teaching materials relating to the seashore and marine are available through the Explorers Education Programme at www.explorers.ie.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - The Explorers Marine Education Programme is looking for expressions of interest from those with experience in the primary education sector and an interest in the marine, to develop a range of marine-themed primary school lesson plans and worksheets.

Subjects for focus under the recently expanded programme include English, Geography, Visual Art, Mathematics, Music, Science and PE.

The Explorers Marine Education Programme has been running for over eight years in Galway, Mayo, Dublin and Cork and has a number of educational materials available on www.explorers.ie.

The programme was established by the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria and is supported by the Galway Education Centre, Sea Life Bray, Blackrock Education Centre and the Lifetime Lab, Cork.

Education officer Dr Noirín Burke says the programme “aims to raise awareness and interest in Ireland’s marine resources and environment and presents many of opportunities to teach subjects in primary school that relate to the marine environment, marine species, marine technology and our oceans."

Any current or former primary school teachers interested in producing Explorer educational materials during the months of June to October will find more details in the expression of interest document HERE.

Further enquiries can be directed to Dr Burke at 085 754 0836 or [email protected] The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 16 May 2014.

Published in Marine Science
The wonders of Ireland's marine life came to the LifeTime Lab in Cork on Monday with the launch of a fortnight of school visits in tandem with the Explorers marine education programme for primary schools.
The programme aims to empower primary teachers to include marine themes in their classes via specially devised lesson plans and support services adapted to the curriculum, including in-service cources on seashore ecology, marine history, arts and crafts, and mathematics.
“The Explorers Programme focuses on Ireland’s two greatest natural resources – our vast undersea territory and our young people,” said Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of programme partner the Marine Institute. “If Ireland is to develop a thriving marine sector in tomorrow’s world, then it will be the young people of today who will make it happen.”
The programme - which has already been rolled out to some 40 primary schools in the west of Ireland from Mayo to Clare, and in six schools in and around the capital - is a collaborative effort between the Marine Institute, Forfas Discover Primary Science, the Galway Atlantaquaria and Galway, Mayo and Clare Education Centres in the west, and the Bray Sea Life Centre and Blackrock Education Centre in the Dublin area.
Manager of LifeTime Lab Mervyn Horgan said his team was "delighted to be involved" in the pilot series of workshops.
"We are always looking for new and innovative ways of engaging in science education and raising the awareness of marine science in Cork classrooms can only bring long term benefits,” he added.
For more details visit the Explorers website at www.explorers.ie.

The wonders of Ireland's marine life came to the LifeTime Lab in Cork on Monday with the launch of a fortnight of school visits in tandem with the Explorers marine education programme for primary schools.

The programme aims to empower primary teachers to include marine themes in their classes via specially devised lesson plans and support services adapted to the curriculum, including in-service cources on seashore ecology, marine history, arts and crafts, and mathematics.

“The Explorers Programme focuses on Ireland’s two greatest natural resources – our vast undersea territory and our young people,” said Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of programme partner the Marine Institute. “If Ireland is to develop a thriving marine sector in tomorrow’s world, then it will be the young people of today who will make it happen.” 

The programme - which has already been rolled out to some 40 primary schools in the west of Ireland from Mayo to Clare, and in six schools in and around the capital - is a collaborative effort between the Marine Institute, Forfas Discover Primary Science, the Galway Atlantaquaria and Galway, Mayo and Clare Education Centres in the west, and the Bray Sea Life Centre and Blackrock Education Centre in the Dublin area.

Manager of LifeTime Lab Mervyn Horgan said his team was "delighted to be involved" in the pilot series of workshops.

"We are always looking for new and innovative ways of engaging in science education and raising the awareness of marine science in Cork classrooms can only bring long term benefits,” he added.

For more details visit the Explorers website at www.explorers.ie.

Published in Marine Science

The Explorers Education Programme run by Galway Atlantaquaria with the support of the Marine Institute is emerging out of the deep blue sea and into space to celebrate the launch of National Science Week 2010. 'Our Place in Space' is the theme for this years Science Week event and the aquarium have organised a Family Fun Day on Sunday 7th November from 12.00 noon. We're offering a special price on the day of €12.00 for one adult and one child to include all activities.

This annual event at the aquarium will include interactive displays and talks from the Galway Astronomy Club and the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy at NUI Galway, Space Invaders and Pac Man games, Face Painting, Cartoon Art lessons for Aliens by the Marine Institute and a display of Ireland's very own Alien Species! A host of fun activities for all the family with Galaxy Art & Crafts and Amazing Space Science Experiments is organised. The event will be opened by Mayor of Galway, Cllr. Michael Crowe.

In a run up to the event, Galway Atlantaquaria is calling on primary school children to create an Alien Sea creature to celebrate Science Week 2010. Children are invited to use their own imagination to create their Alien Sea Creature works of art using discarded or reused materials. Age category prizes on offer and all entries will go on display at the aquarium. Remember all finished art work must be at the aquarium by Thursday 4th November and don't forget to include your name, age and school to your entry.

Science Week 2010 aims to raise awareness of the space industry in Ireland, with a wide range of activities taking place which will look at the latest happenings in astronomy and space exploration. For more information see details on the Galway Atlantaquarias website or contact 091 585100 or email [email protected]

Published in Marine Science
Page 2 of 2

Ireland's Commercial Fishing 

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry employs around 11,000 people in fishing, processing and ancillary services such as sales and marketing. The industry is worth about €1.22 billion annually to the Irish economy. Irish fisheries products are exported all over the world as far as Africa, Japan and China.

FAQs

Over 16,000 people are employed directly or indirectly around the coast, working on over 2,000 registered fishing vessels, in over 160 seafood processing businesses and in 278 aquaculture production units, according to the State's sea fisheries development body Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

All activities that are concerned with growing, catching, processing or transporting fish are part of the commercial fishing industry, the development of which is overseen by BIM. Recreational fishing, as in angling at sea or inland, is the responsibility of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The Irish fishing industry is valued at 1.22 billion euro in gross domestic product (GDP), according to 2019 figures issued by BIM. Only 179 of Ireland's 2,000 vessels are over 18 metres in length. Where does Irish commercially caught fish come from? Irish fish and shellfish is caught or cultivated within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but Irish fishing grounds are part of the common EU "blue" pond. Commercial fishing is regulated under the terms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983 and with ten-yearly reviews.

The total value of seafood landed into Irish ports was 424 million euro in 2019, according to BIM. High value landings identified in 2019 were haddock, hake, monkfish and megrim. Irish vessels also land into foreign ports, while non-Irish vessels land into Irish ports, principally Castletownbere, Co Cork, and Killybegs, Co Donegal.

There are a number of different methods for catching fish, with technological advances meaning skippers have detailed real time information at their disposal. Fisheries are classified as inshore, midwater, pelagic or deep water. Inshore targets species close to shore and in depths of up to 200 metres, and may include trawling and gillnetting and long-lining. Trawling is regarded as "active", while "passive" or less environmentally harmful fishing methods include use of gill nets, long lines, traps and pots. Pelagic fisheries focus on species which swim close to the surface and up to depths of 200 metres, including migratory mackerel, and tuna, and methods for catching include pair trawling, purse seining, trolling and longlining. Midwater fisheries target species at depths of around 200 metres, using trawling, longlining and jigging. Deepwater fisheries mainly use trawling for species which are found at depths of over 600 metres.

There are several segments for different catching methods in the registered Irish fleet – the largest segment being polyvalent or multi-purpose vessels using several types of gear which may be active and passive. The polyvalent segment ranges from small inshore vessels engaged in netting and potting to medium and larger vessels targeting whitefish, pelagic (herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting) species and bivalve molluscs. The refrigerated seawater (RSW) pelagic segment is engaged mainly in fishing for herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting only. The beam trawling segment focuses on flatfish such as sole and plaice. The aquaculture segment is exclusively for managing, developing and servicing fish farming areas and can collect spat from wild mussel stocks.

The top 20 species landed by value in 2019 were mackerel (78 million euro); Dublin Bay prawn (59 million euro); horse mackerel (17 million euro); monkfish (17 million euro); brown crab (16 million euro); hake (11 million euro); blue whiting (10 million euro); megrim (10 million euro); haddock (9 million euro); tuna (7 million euro); scallop (6 million euro); whelk (5 million euro); whiting (4 million euro); sprat (3 million euro); herring (3 million euro); lobster (2 million euro); turbot (2 million euro); cod (2 million euro); boarfish (2 million euro).

Ireland has approximately 220 million acres of marine territory, rich in marine biodiversity. A marine biodiversity scheme under Ireland's operational programme, which is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Government, aims to reduce the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the marine environment, including avoidance and reduction of unwanted catch.

EU fisheries ministers hold an annual pre-Christmas council in Brussels to decide on total allowable catches and quotas for the following year. This is based on advice from scientific bodies such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. In Ireland's case, the State's Marine Institute publishes an annual "stock book" which provides the most up to date stock status and scientific advice on over 60 fish stocks exploited by the Irish fleet. Total allowable catches are supplemented by various technical measures to control effort, such as the size of net mesh for various species.

The west Cork harbour of Castletownbere is Ireland's biggest whitefish port. Killybegs, Co Donegal is the most important port for pelagic (herring, mackerel, blue whiting) landings. Fish are also landed into Dingle, Co Kerry, Rossaveal, Co Galway, Howth, Co Dublin and Dunmore East, Co Waterford, Union Hall, Co Cork, Greencastle, Co Donegal, and Clogherhead, Co Louth. The busiest Northern Irish ports are Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel, Co Down.

Yes, EU quotas are allocated to other fleets within the Irish EEZ, and Ireland has long been a transhipment point for fish caught by the Spanish whitefish fleet in particular. Dingle, Co Kerry has seen an increase in foreign landings, as has Castletownbere. The west Cork port recorded foreign landings of 36 million euro or 48 per cent in 2019, and has long been nicknamed the "peseta" port, due to the presence of Spanish-owned transhipment plant, Eiranova, on Dinish island.

Most fish and shellfish caught or cultivated in Irish waters is for the export market, and this was hit hard from the early stages of this year's Covid-19 pandemic. The EU, Asia and Britain are the main export markets, while the middle Eastern market is also developing and the African market has seen a fall in value and volume, according to figures for 2019 issued by BIM.

Fish was once a penitential food, eaten for religious reasons every Friday. BIM has worked hard over several decades to develop its appeal. Ireland is not like Spain – our land is too good to transform us into a nation of fish eaters, but the obvious health benefits are seeing a growth in demand. Seafood retail sales rose by one per cent in 2019 to 300 million euro. Salmon and cod remain the most popular species, while BIM reports an increase in sales of haddock, trout and the pangasius or freshwater catfish which is cultivated primarily in Vietnam and Cambodia and imported by supermarkets here.

The EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983, pooled marine resources – with Ireland having some of the richest grounds and one of the largest sea areas at the time, but only receiving four per cent of allocated catch by a quota system. A system known as the "Hague Preferences" did recognise the need to safeguard the particular needs of regions where local populations are especially dependent on fisheries and related activities. The State's Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, based in Clonakilty, Co Cork, works with the Naval Service on administering the EU CFP. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Department of Transport regulate licensing and training requirements, while the Marine Survey Office is responsible for the implementation of all national and international legislation in relation to safety of shipping and the prevention of pollution.

Yes, a range of certificates of competency are required for skippers and crew. Training is the remit of BIM, which runs two national fisheries colleges at Greencastle, Co Donegal and Castletownbere, Co Cork. There have been calls for the colleges to be incorporated into the third-level structure of education, with qualifications recognised as such.

Safety is always an issue, in spite of technological improvements, as fishing is a hazardous occupation and climate change is having its impact on the severity of storms at sea. Fishing skippers and crews are required to hold a number of certificates of competency, including safety and navigation, and wearing of personal flotation devices is a legal requirement. Accidents come under the remit of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, and the Health and Safety Authority. The MCIB does not find fault or blame, but will make recommendations to the Minister for Transport to avoid a recurrence of incidents.

Fish are part of a marine ecosystem and an integral part of the marine food web. Changing climate is having a negative impact on the health of the oceans, and there have been more frequent reports of warmer water species being caught further and further north in Irish waters.

Brexit, Covid 19, EU policies and safety – Britain is a key market for Irish seafood, and 38 per cent of the Irish catch is taken from the waters around its coast. Ireland's top two species – mackerel and prawns - are 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, dependent on British waters. Also, there are serious fears within the Irish industry about the impact of EU vessels, should they be expelled from British waters, opting to focus even more efforts on Ireland's rich marine resource. Covid-19 has forced closure of international seafood markets, with high value fish sold to restaurants taking a large hit. A temporary tie-up support scheme for whitefish vessels introduced for the summer of 2020 was condemned by industry organisations as "designed to fail".

Sources: Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Marine Institute, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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