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Displaying items by tag: Marine Science News

#INFOMAR – The Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland's Marine Resource, in short (INFOMAR) have outlined their proposed mapping operations for 2013.

INFOMAR (covering 125,000 sq kms) is a joint venture between the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and the Marine Institute.

During the current year of INFOMAR Phase 1 (2006-2016), operations are provisionally planned to take place within tabulated bays subject to approval from other agencies.

To see a map of proposed working area and more, Inshore Ireland (February / March) issue has a report.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the GSI's survey vessel RV Keary last month returned to service, having completed modifications carried out at Arklow Marine Services. The 15m aluminium catamaran research vessel was built in South Africa and is equipped with a full geographical suite.

Published in Marine Science

#IrishSeaSurvey – The Marine Institute's Galway based RV Celtic Explorer made a brief call yesterday to Dublin Port, while in between carrying out separate scientific surveys, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 65m vessel, which is not a regular visitor to the port, had berthed at Ocean Pier. According to the Marine Institute's vessel survey schedule, she was conducting a Methane-derived Authigenic Carbonate (MDAC) survey headed by chief scientist Dr. Yvonne Leahy of the institute.

The survey was to complete a drop camera survey of a MDAC site in the Irish Sea, some 25 nautical miles offshore of Dublin Bay.

Celtic Explorer which is 2,425 tonnes and has a total of 35 personnel, and equally the same number of days in endurance range. Accommodation is for 22-30 scientists, 13-15 crew (dependent to operational requirements). Scientific quarters are for 4 single cabins and 9 double en-suite cabins.

Her inshore fleetmate, the 31m RV Celtic Voyager of 340 tonnes has an endurance capability of 14 days. A total of 15 personel made up of 8 scientists and 7 crew are accommodated in 4-berth quarters.

 

Published in Marine Science

#ResearchVessel – The Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) research vessel Keary, returned to her homeport of Dun Laoghaire Harbour today, having completed modifications at Arklow Marine Services, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The South African built aluminium catamaran craft had been hoisted onto the quayside at the Co. Wicklow port so to allow the work to begin.

She made her homebound journey with a high-speed transit through Dalkey Sound, and completed her voyage to the 820-berth Dun Laoghaire marina.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie the RV Keary was joined in October by the former Inland Fisheries Ireland cutter, Cosantóir Bradán. She is employed as part of INFOMAR, the national marine mapping programme, conducted by the GSI and Marine Institute.

Published in Marine Science

#SCIENCE SHIPS – It is a rare to have both Marine Institute research vessels calling at the same time to east-coast ports, as normally these Galway-based ships managed by P&O Maritime Services, work off the rest of the Irish coast, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on Aflaot.ie, the RV Celtic Explorer docked in Dublin Port earlier this week. The 65.5m long vessel currently remains moored alongside Sir John Rogersons Quay (berth 6) as the 10-day Euroscience Open Forum 2012 (ESOF) concludes tomorrow in the Convention Centre. High-level delegates from the international scientific community have made the short crossing over the Liffey's Samuel Beckett Bridge to be welcomed on board.

Across Dublin Bay the RV Celtic Voyager had called to Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday, where she stayed overnight for a mid-scientific cruise break, while berthed at St. Michaels Wharf. The 31.4m vessel this morning resumed her scheduled Infomar 2 hydrographic work in the Irish Sea.

Published in Marine Science

#MARINE RESEARCH YACHT– The 36m French marine biology research yacht Tara, skippered by Loic Valette, sailed under motor-power into Dun Laoghaire Harbour from Lorient this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The two-master is operated by Tara Expeditions which is a non-profit organisation which aims to learn more about the impact of climate change on ecosystems. She has travelled extensively on expeditions to both poles and throughout the world and where the organsiation have collected samples and data to the scientific community.

The port of call is so that she can take part in the Dublin 'City of Science 2012' festival.

Tara will be moored alongside the harbour's East Pier during tomorrow and Thursday, where the public are invited on board to tour the vessel on a first come first served basis. Opening times on both days are between 1-7pm and taken in small groups, noting limited accessibility. Crew will provide guided tours of the class B aluminium built yacht once owned by Jean-Louis Etienne and Sir Peter Blake. For further details click HERE.

As previously reported, the Marine Institute's RV Celtic Explorer docked in Dublin Port today in advance of the ESOF 2012 conference which is the highlight of the year-long science festival. For information visit www.dublinscience2012.ie

Published in Marine Science

#ESOF IN DUBLIN - The Euroscience Open Forum 2012 (ESOF) is to take place in the Convention Centre in Dublin from tomorrow until next Sunday. As part of the key conference, the Marine Institute's RV Celtic Explorer which docked in the centre of the port today, is expected to relocate berths later in the week for visiting high-level delegates, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The forum is billed as Europe's largest general science conference and the capital was chosen to host the Dublin 'City of Science 2012' festival which is year-long celebration of science. The prestigious international event features over 160 events that will showcase the best of Irish culture, arts and science.

Added to this is a 'Science in the City' festival (6-15th July) which is currently well-under way, for further information visit www.dublinscience2012.ie

Published in Marine Science

#MARINE SCIENCE – The Marine Institute has a research vessel training position under its Stagiaire Programme, which is designed to enable recent graduates to gain work experience in an area in which they are interested.

As part of Ocean Science and Information Services, you will provide administrative support to the work activities of the Team Leader and to the Operations and Director of OSIS in the management and delivery of Research Vessel (RV) Operations Office services.

This Stagiaire position is an excellent training opportunity for a recent graduate of business, administration or a related subject. The fixed term, fixed purpose Graduate Training contract will run for a maximum of 50 weeks. The successful candidate will be on probation for the first 6 months of this training contract. For further information and how to apply, click HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#MARINE SCIENCE TALLSHIP- As part of Dublin City of Science 2012, a 'Science in the City' festival (6-15 July) is to include the French scientific expedition schooner Tara, which is to receive a welcoming flotilla on her arrival to Dun Laoghaire Harbour on 10th July, writes Jehan Ashmore.

At only 36m long, the Tara is unique vessel in that she is used for scientific discovery and adventure purposes, as otherwise most such vessels are larger motorships. The schooner is run by the French based non-profit organisation Tara Expeditions that provides samples and data to the scientific community worldwide.

She has accomplished eight expeditions – to the Antarctica, Arctic, Greenland, Patagonia, southern Georgia and throughout the rest of the world. Before her scientific adventure role she was owned by Jean-Louis Etienne and Sir Peter Blake.

Tara Expeditions aim to learn more about the impact of climate change on ecosystems. One of the core objectives is to increase environmental awareness among the general public, and particularly young people through their Tara Junior outreach programme.

She is to be open to the public at her mooring at the harbour's East Pier where her crew will provide guided tours on the 11th and 12th June. Visits on a first come first served basis (between 11am-6pm) where 3 to 4 groups numbering between 8-12 people will be accommodated.

Published in Marine Science

#RESEARCH VESSEL CHARTER - The Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) have chartered the Cosantoir Bradan from the Central Fisheries Board

The fisheries patrol cutter is to be used in conjunction with the RV Keary for survey work, including bottom survey of all coastal regions around Ireland.

The 15m catamaran inshore research vessel is currently undergoing modifications and refurbishing works at Arklow Marine Services yard.

Published in Marine Science

#PORTS & SHIPPING - Cork based marine services company, Mainport is investing $36 million (€27.6 million) to build three supply vessels which will support seismic survey ships searching for oil and gas deposits.

The bulk of the financing for the construction of the newbuildings has been provided by Dutch bank ABN Amro, with a syndicate of Irish investors assembled by Westboro Finance in Cork providing $5 million in mezzanine, or short-term, financing.

The three ships, which will provide support services for an unnamed client carrying out off-shore seismic surveys around the world, are being constructed at Shin Yang Shipyards in Malaysia, and will be delivered in mid-2013.

To read more about this report in today's Irish Times click HERE

Published in Ports & Shipping
Page 2 of 3

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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