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Displaying items by tag: Marine Institute

Ireland’s Tuna CHART bluefin tuna sea angling survey programme for 2023 has opened for charter skippers to apply.

Anglers in Ireland will once again have the opportunity to catch and release bluefin tuna in 2023 through the continuation of the Tuna CHART (CatcH And Release Tagging) programme that has been in operation around our coast since 2019.

Experienced charter skippers are now invited to apply to take part in this year’s Atlantic bluefin tuna scientific survey programme of Irish waters.

Building on the successes of the Tuna CHART programmes of 2019-2022, this scientific data collection catch-and-release fishery for Ireland will again operate in 2023.

A maximum of 25 authorisations may be granted to qualifying angling charter vessel skippers around the Irish coast for this fishery, which opens on 1 July and closes on 12 November.

The Tuna CHART programme is a collaborative scientific programme between Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and the Marine Institute in partnership with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC).

Between 2019 and 2022, some 1,500 Atlantic bluefin tuna were caught, tagged, measured and released off the Irish coast by authorised charter skippers. The largest tuna tagged to date in the programme was 2.75 metres, weighing an estimated 372kg.

All tuna were carefully managed in the water alongside the charter vessel, subject to strict guidelines set by the Tuna CHART programme, and all were released alive.

Data from the tagging programme have been collated by the partnership for reporting to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT).

The core aim of the Tuna CHART programme is to collect data and tag these large fish, which is underpinned by ensuring good fish welfare, leading to successful release of the bluefin tuna.

Authorised skippers will be required to collect data on every bluefin trip undertaken and each bluefin tuna they catch, tag and release and their angling and data recording expertise is an important part of the overall survey programme. They will also be required to have high specification rods, reels and line in advance of the open season in order to ensure that the fish is brought alongside the vessel to be measured and tagged in the water in a timely manner.

Anglers will have an opportunity to participate in this fishery and contribute to this important scientific study by chartering and fishing from authorised vessels only.

Unauthorised vessels are not permitted to target or catch Bluefin tuna and any unauthorised person found to be targeting Bluefin tuna is liable to prosecution.

Experienced charter skippers are being invited to apply to join the 2023 Tuna CHART programme between Tuesday 21 March and Tuesday 4 April by filling out an application form online at www.fisheriesireland.ie/bluefin.

Published in Angling

MERC Environmental Consultants Ltd and the Marine Institute are undertaking site investigation survey works at the Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site in Co Mayo.

The surveys are expected to be completed over a three-day period during the nearest available weather window which opened last Thursday 2 March, subject to weather and operational constraints.

Survey works include a benthic survey as well as geotechnical and geophysical surveys.

The survey campaign will be undertaken within the proposed Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site, consisting of two separate areas. Test Site A is 16km from Belderra Strand, and Test Site B is 6km from Belderra Strand on the Erris Peninsula.

The benthic survey work will be conducted by the Dúlra na Mara (callsign EIFS6) a shallow draft survey vessel. Meanwhile the survey vessel RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) will carry out geophysical and geotechnical site investigation works offshore at Test Site A and Test Site B and along the proposed cable corridor.

During operations the work vessels will be restricted in their ability to manoeuvre. All other vessels are requested to leave a wide berth during the deployment operations.

The survey operations will be conducted during daylight hours only. Mariners are advised to keep continuous watch on VHF Channel 16 when navigating the survey area at the Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site.

For maps, coordinates, safety information and contact details, see Marine Notice No 10 of 2023 attached below.

Published in Power From the Sea

The Marine Institute has shared its pride in celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on Saturday 11 February and the important contributions made by women throughout the organisation.

The theme for the eighth International Day of Women and Girls in Science is IDEAS: Innovate, Demonstrate, Elevate, Advance and Sustain: “Bringing everyone forward for sustainable and equitable development.”

“As a scientific organisation and a State Body, the Marine Institute is committed to promoting gender equality and access to opportunities be they professional roles, training programmes, research related funding or opportunities to network with like-minded individuals,” says Patricia Orme, director of corporate services at the Marine Institute.

“We invest in programmes and actions that encourage the participation of women and girls in all aspects of marine science and technology. We believe that a diverse workforce is essential for achieving our mission of advancing knowledge and understanding of the marine environment.”

The Marine Institute, which has a staff of 241 employees, supports a “strong and inspirational” workforce of female employees at 50.6%. The organisation says it continues to recognise that its employees’ skills, experience, diversity and passion for the marine are central to the work that is undertaken for the government and other partners.

“We are delighted to celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science,” Orme added. “By highlighting the contribution and achievements of women in marine science and sharing their passion for the work that they do, they can inspire the next generation of female scientists from all backgrounds to pursue careers in this field. We have women working in science, technical analysis and research, and many working in policy, maritime development, as well as corporate roles.”

The Marine Institute will share photos, animations and profiles of its women scientists to celebrate their achievements, their study and career paths and the work they do at the Marine Institute. Follow the hashtag #WomenInScience on the Marine Institute’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for highlights of the important impact of their work.

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an annual event for the United Nations that aims to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in science.

Since 2016, it has been an important platform for discussing ways to address the underrepresentation of women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This underrepresentation is a major barrier to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which include ensuring equal access to education and promoting gender equality.

According to UNESCO, only 28% of researchers worldwide are women, and even fewer hold senior positions. By highlighting the contributions of women and girls in science and promoting their participation in STEM fields, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science helps to pave the way for a more inclusive and sustainable future.

Published in Marine Science

The Marine Institute continues to invest in the next generation of ocean professionals through the 2023 Summer Bursary Scholarship Programme, which provides third-level students with work experience across several marine areas.

The Bursary Scholarship Programme has been running for more than 30 years, providing valuable career development and support and inspiring the next generation of marine scientists and ocean experts. The programme equips students with the skills to become ocean leaders and marine champions of the future.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, “Our Summer Bursary Scholarship Programme allows undergraduate students to work with our talented staff on a broad range of marine projects. The experience strengthens their skills and knowledge of Ireland’s marine and maritime sector. The programme also helps students make informed decisions early in their studies about potential avenues they might pursue in their marine and maritime careers. When I was an undergraduate, I did three Summer Bursaries and found they informed my career direction and developed my network.”

The Marine Institute is committed to supporting a high-performance culture driven by people, whose skills, experience and passion for the marine are central to the work we perform for the government and other stakeholders. The programme, therefore, provides undergraduates a unique opportunity to meet fellow students from other third-level colleges as well as work with Marine Institute experts and build new networks in the marine and maritime sector.

The Bursary Scholarship Programme is aimed at undergraduates of Universities, Institutes of Technology and National Institutes for Higher Education, both national and international. To participate in the programme, undergraduate students must have completed two years of study in a relevant discipline by the beginning of June 2023.

Successful candidates will work full-time with Marine Institute staff in exciting areas such as Marine and Freshwater Fisheries monitoring, the National Tide Gauge Network, SmartBay, INFOMAR, Fish Health Unit, Finance, Historical data re-construction, Human resources, Oceanography, Marine Infrastructure, Linking Art and Science and Marine Communications. The bursaries are based at its facilities in Oranmore, Galway and Newport Co. Mayo.

To apply for the 2023 Bursary Programme:

  • Please view the bursary titles available on www.marine.ie
  • Select the two bursary positions that interest you the most and in order of preference
  • Complete the online application form and submit as per the instructions
  • Application Deadline Date is Friday 24th February 2023

Online application form here

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under

The Marine Institute, in partnership with the University of Galway’s Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU), has released the latest update on the performance of Ireland’s Ocean Economy.

The report provides an update on Ireland’s ocean economy across three main economic indicators: turnover, gross value added (GVA) and employment, and provides an analysis of trends over the last five years.

The update shows that Ireland’s ocean economy in 2021 had a turnover of €4.98 billion, with a direct economic contribution, as measured by GVA, of €2.1 billion. Taking into account indirect GVA generated from ocean related activity in Ireland total GVA is €3.8bn, representing 1.6% of national output. Brexit effects on trade and fisheries as well as the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly on marine tourism and the international cruise industry meant a significant reduction in ocean economy output value in 2020.

Commenting on the results, co-author Prof Stephen Hynes, Director of SEMRU at the University of Galway stated, “The latest figures demonstrate that it has been a very turbulent period for Ireland’s ocean economy in the two years since the publication of the last report in the series. Against the backdrop of the immense challenges that have faced the sector we have seen a rebound in terms of output and employment in 2021. It continues to be a period of transition for Ireland’s ocean economy as the marine industries innovate in the face of new policies and measures aimed at dealing with the impacts of the climate and biodiversity crises.”

The performance of Ireland’s Ocean Economy

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, said, “I am delighted to receive this latest SEMRU (University of Galway) and Marine Institute report on Ireland’s Ocean Economy, which provides such useful data on the value of our marine industries and sectors. The marine sector and the employment it provides in crucial areas such as Ireland’s fisheries and seafood sector, under my own area of Ministerial responsibility, are crucially important contributors in maintaining the viability of our coastal communities. This interesting and timely report demonstrates that the marine sector as a whole has experienced significant challenges over recent years in common with international trends but is now slowly recovering. It will be particularly interesting to see if the current trends continue into 2023 and future years. We look forward to the next report and hopefully to a resurgent and vibrant marine sector both here in Ireland and internationally.”

The report also reviews demographic change in Ireland’s coastal economy, as well as highlighting developments in marine natural capital accounting. Natural capital accounting/ecosystem accounting views nature and ecosystems as assets, which provide a stream of ecosystem service benefits to society. The report highlights the importance of healthy marine ecosystem services to the ocean economy industries and Irish society more widely. In doing so it discusses the latest advancements in ocean environmental and economic accounting and how the Marine Institute and the University of Galway, in partnership with the CSO, are in the process of developing such accounts for Ireland.

Welcoming the report, Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute said, “The ever-growing demand for more integrated advice and services has seen an increasing demand for economic data and evidence that will support the state’s governance of our maritime area. This work, carried out in partnership with University of Galway, and other state organisations such as the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), is delivering a robust analytical framework to inform marine and maritime policies and planning, delivering a more equitable and sustainable ocean and coastal economies.”

Ireland’s Ocean Economy Report 2022 is available on the Marine Institute’s website here

Published in Marine Science

Research survey TC22017 will be carried out in the Irish Sea in the vicinity of the Kish Bank Lighthouse by the University of Limerick (UL) in collaboration with the Marine Institute from this Sunday 11 to Friday 16 December, subject to weather and operational constraints.

The aim of this survey the testing and development of UL’s underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) system and automation platforms.

Ship-time will be focused on trialling comprehensive multi-disciplinary control and inspection methods, utilising new technologies to enable automated offshore asset inspection.

The primary outcome of the trials is to work towards the development of a framework and technique for the inspection of offshore assets remotely.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Tom Crean (callsign EIYX3) which will display appropriate lights and signals. The operations will take place between 7am and 7pm daily. The vessel will mainly run in DP mode while the ROV operates close to Kish Bank Lighthouse.

A map and coordinates of the survey area as well as contact details and a list of equipment used can be found in Marine Notice No 84 of 2022, attached below.

Published in Marine Science

The Marine Institute hosted a Postgraduate Scholarship Symposium on Wednesday, 30th November 2022, where the postgraduate students funded under the Cullen Scholarship Programme and Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Programme presented the progress and current findings of their marine research projects on a wide range of topics.

The Cullen Scholarship Programme is not only a valuable training and capacity-building measure, but research carried out by Cullen scholars adds value to the Marine Institute’s role in providing scientific and technical advice and services to support sustainable management of Ireland’s marine resources and a sustainable ocean economy. This combination of capacity build and knowledge generation will be especially important to support recovery in maritime sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Programme aims to provide research training opportunities for scientists in oceanography, marine engineering and related marine science disciplines leading to the acquisition of a higher degree. Through the annual placement of the researchers at PLOCAN (Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands) the programme increases collaboration between Ireland and Spain through research undertaken using the test-bed and demonstration facilities in both countries.

A total of 41 scholarships with total grant aid of €3.9 million have been awarded for research under the Cullen Scholarship Programme from 2014 to 2021, with a further six Scholarships currently under contract negotiation following the 2022 funding call. Two scholarships were awarded under the Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Programme call in 2020. A list of students who presented at the Symposium is included below:

Presenter

Higher Education Institute

Project Title

Catherine Jordan

University of Galway

Space based observations of marine phytoplankton

Aileen Kennedy

University of Galway

Fisheries Data Integration and Analytics

Amy Fitzpatrick

Munster Technological University, Cork

Next generation sequencing for Norovirus Genotypes

Elliot Murphy

University of Galway

Culture optimisation, and bioactivity of selected toxic Irish microalgae

Signe Martin

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Evaluate the disease status of velvet crab, brown crab, lobster & shrimp

Colin Guilfoyle

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Biodiversity conservation and restoration in the Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park

Callum Sturrock

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Biological changes in key commercially exploited fish in the light of Climate & Ocean Change

Grace McNicholas

Trinity College Dublin

Ecology of Irish tunas

Aideen Kearney

University of Galway

Enhancing farmed Atlantic salmon quality through new production technologies

Madhuri Angel Baxla

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Machine learning assisted detection & prediction of climate change related anomalous events in complex marine systems

Ashly Kalayil Uthaman

Maynooth University

Seasonal to decadal sea level and ocean waves predictions through numerical modelling and statistical analysis

Anna Stroh

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Improving fishing survey indices though the use of spatio-temporal models

Virginia Morejon

University College Dublin

Development of a Cumulative Effects Assessment Framework for Ireland’s Marine Planning Process

Bela Klimesova

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Epidemiological investigations of the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis on Irish Atlantic salmon farms

Iain McLeod

Maynooth University

Wave-powered data buoy

Bríd O'Connor

University College Cork

The status of sensitive fish species within Irish waters and their vulnerability in relation to fishing and discarding practices

Patrick McLoughlin

Maynooth University

Recovering legacy tidal records to elucidate trends in sea level rise in Ireland

Nicolé Caputo

Atlantic Technological University, Galway

Development and Implementation of molecular assays for the routine detection of toxigenic and harmful phytoplankton species in Irish coastal waters and sediments

Felix Butschek

University College Cork

Celtic Sea acoustic data analytics for improved habitat mapping and ecosystem assessment

Published in Marine Science

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, visited the Marine Institute in Galway today and received the Marine Institute’s annual 2022 Fish Stock Book. The detailed annual publication provides the latest impartial scientific advice on the status of 75 key fish stocks of interest to Ireland.

Minister Charlie McConalogue said, "I am delighted to visit the Marine Institute today and to receive the Fish Stock Book for 2022. This provides essential information reviewing the state of fish stocks in 2022 and provides management advice for the setting of quotas for 2023. I am pleased that the work done by the Marine Institute scientists, feeding into the work of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), ensures that decisions we are making at the December Fisheries Council and in negotiations with Third Countries, including the UK, are based on quality data collected over the past year and advice that has been assessed and verified. It is important that the advice and the science underpinning that advice is made accessible to industry and other stakeholders through the continued annual publication of the Fish Stock Book.”

The Minister added. “The 2022 Stock Book is showing a continued gradual increase in the number of sustainably fished stocks. This progress is giving assurance that our policy at national and EU level is making progress on delivering sustainability. Stocks of haddock, monkfish, megrim, tuna, and some of the Dublin Bay Prawn stocks have increased in recent years and continue to be sustainably fished. There are some stocks such as cod, herring and whiting that are overfished and work will continue to set management measures that will support the rebuilding of these important stocks.”

This is the 30th edition of the annual book, which contains the latest management advice used by decision makers to set sustainable catch levels and fishing quotas for 2023. The publication is an invaluable reference guide for a wide audience, including the Minister’s team of negotiators, the fishing industry, marine scientists, environmental NGOs and third level institutes.

In 2021, Irish vessels landed approximately 182,000 tonnes of wild caught fish worth more than €265 million at first sale. This, in turn, supports a valuable processing industry and other activities in our coastal communities.

Ensuring long term sustainability is a key objective of sustainable management of fish stock under the Common Fisheries policy. To that end, every year, the Marine Institute undertakes an extensive data collection programme on multiple scientific fisheries surveys, travelling approximately 23,776 nautical miles over 200 days, equating to 2,030 scientist days at sea on Ireland’s marine research vessels.

Onshore and at sea sampling programmes measure over half a million fish and estimate age for a further 56,000 individuals across all commercial species. Irish data are compiled with that from other countries through the intergovernmental organisation ICES. Marine Institute scientists play a key role in carrying out the assessments and developing the scientific evidence and advice at ICES. The Stock Book integrates the latest scientific advice from ICES with relevant information on Irish fisheries.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute said, "The scientific advice and services provided by our scientists to stakeholders are essential to supporting a sustainable ocean economy, protecting and managing our marine ecosystems and meeting EU obligations. Our scientists participate in, and lead, international working groups that assess fish stocks and provide the independent scientific advice on how many fish can be safely removed from this renewable resource. This work is essential to sustaining the ocean economy for our coastal communities."

Dr Ciaran Kelly, Director of Fisheries Ecosystem Advisory Services at the Marine Institute said, "The arrival of Ireland’s new research vessel, the RV Tom Crean this year, provides us with a state-of-the-art platform to undertake fisheries assessments in Irish waters. The RV Tom Crean and RV Celtic Explorer, enable our scientists to gather the best scientific evidence to help inform important decisions on fisheries management, and ocean sustainability.”

The 2022 Stock Book is available electronically on the Marine Institute's website and as an interactive online application. Most of the scientific work that delivers the Marine Institute's Stock Book is funded under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF).

Minister McConalogue was presented with the Stock Book during his visit to the Institute, where he was provided with a series of briefings and demonstrations on the important work of the Institute, including; Seabed Mapping – INFOMAR (Porcupine) linked to the Prawn Underwater TV Survey, Data Collection Framework (DCF) Surveys – Overview of DCF survey programme and spotlight on some of the key surveys involved, Ocean Observations, Climate and Biodiversity – Fisheries Advice (Evolving assessment and advice for shellfish fisheries). Seafood Safety Monitoring Programmes (Phytoplankton Laboratory) and Services to Government relating to regulation of aquaculture activities.

Published in Marine Science

Pupils of Scoil Iósaif Naofa, Oranmore Boys National School in Co Galway have been presented with the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champion Award for the Best STEM and Cross Curricular project by Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport.

Congratulating the children and teachers involved in their healthy ocean project, ‘Ocean Aware Because We Care’, Minister Naughton said: “The Explorers Ocean Champions Award is a fantastic example of an all-inclusive school approach to learn about our local marine environment and heritage.

“The incredible effort of the teachers, children, Explorers outreach team, and the partners from local boat builders to scientists and seabed mappers from INFOMAR shows that this project went beyond the classroom and highlights the value of teaching as a community.”

As part of the Explorers Ocean Champion project and awards initiative, the programme Manager, Camden Education Trust and the Explorers Education Programme outreach teams have worked with 28 primary schools, reaching up to 3,500 children and 124 teachers across 13 coastal counties, creating ‘healthy ocean’ projects covering themes from STEM and outdoor education to the arts and ocean literacy.

The minister added: “The title of the school project called ‘Ocean Aware Because We Care’ is a wonderful slogan, as it represents the importance of learning about our ocean at a local level, so we are able to care for it now and into the future.

“The children’s extensive learning experience from visiting the displays at Galway City Museum, Galway Atlantaquaria, beach cleans coupled with school visits from the INFOMAR seabed mapping team, is a great example of local organisations working with the schools to inspire them to learn about the ocean. This project also helps open up opportunities to inspire future marine scientists and ocean champions.”

School principal Maeve Meeneghan congratulated the lead teacher Ms Lillis and the Explorers outreach officer Noirin Burke, saying: “The Explorers Ocean Champions initiative promoted a culture of improvement, collaboration, innovation and creativity in learning and teaching beyond our imagination. It empowered staff to take on and carry out leadership roles and above all else, it awakened and built on our awareness of the natural resource on our doorstep here in Oranmore.”

Published in Environment

The black seadevil anglerfish was voted as “one of the ugliest deep-sea fish species” during the launch of the new Explorers Education Programme book and resources, The Good, The Bad + The Ugly: Deep Sea Species, which took place at the Marine Institute exhibit at the Galway Science and Technology Festival 2022.

Inspired by the work of the Marine Institute’s scientists that carry out deep-sea fishing surveys on board the research vessels each year, Cushla Dromgool-Regan — Explorers strategic education and communications manager at Camden Education Trust — said she was delighted to produce a new book and resources that showcased the amazing marine wildlife that are found in the deepest parts of the ocean in Ireland and around the world.

“I love deep-sea animals and their amazing ability to adapt under extreme conditions,” she said. “The animals selected for the book were based on some of our favourite deep-sea species that we have affectionately called the good, the bad and the ugly — because of their incredible features that help them survive. Some look cute but are deadly and others look angry but are basically looking for their next meal.”

Families were introduced to some of these amazing animals at the exhibit, where they saw a display of supersized photos of the deep-sea species. The blobfish known as Mr Blobby, the viperfish with giant fangs, the hagfish that produces slime in seconds and the goblin shark with a protruding jaw were just some of the children’s favourites.

The Explorers programme team were delighted to see their mascot, the black seadevil anglerfish come in with top votes by children “who loved learning about its bioluminescent lure, expandable stomach and huge mouth that can pretty much eat anything it can get its mouth around”, Dromgool-Regan added.

“There are over 200 species of anglerfish. Among them, the species known as the monkfish can open its mouth wide enough to engulf other animals larger than itself. It is reported that monkfish have been found with birds in their stomachs including gulls, puffins and cormorants.”

‘The workbook and lessons and activities will help develop children’s STEM skills, while also increasing their engagement in the ocean’

Patricia Orme, corporate services director with the Marine Institute congratulated the Explorers team on the production of the excellent new resources.

“This will certainly generate excitement in the classroom!” she said. “The materials are packed full of photos and graphics showing the greatest explorers, ocean zones as well as the weird and wonderful creatures that call the deep-sea home.

“The workbook and lessons and activities are also really well illustrated and we are sure will help develop children’s STEM skills, while also increasing their engagement in the ocean.”

The Good, The Bad + The Ugly: Deep Sea Species and resources are free to download from the Explorers website. The Explorers team will also be delivering deep-sea species class projects with primary schools, where teachers will receive printed copies of the introductory book and workbooks with a range of cross-curricular activities for the children.

There are over 20 activities to choose from such as making an anglerfish light card — learning about electricity and circuits — to one of the Explorers teams’ favourites: creating fashion from slime, inspired by the hag fish.

The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, the State agency for marine research and development, and delivered by outreach centres to primary schools around the country, as well as for Leave No Trace Ireland, Galway Atlantaquaria, Sea Synergy, Old Cork Waterworks – Lifetime Lab, Oceanics and SEASHOREKIDS.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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