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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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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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