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The first and second legs of this year’s Irish Anglerfish and Megrim Survey (IAMS 2024) will be carried out from Thursday 8 February to Sunday 3 March.

Surveys will be conducted to the West, South-West and South Coasts of Ireland by the Marine Institute in fulfilment of Ireland’s obligations under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

IAMS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of approximately 110 otter trawls, each of 60 minutes duration, in ICES areas 7b, 7c, 7g, 7h, 7j and 7k.

Fishing in 2024 will take place within a three-nautical-mile radius of the positions indicated in Appendices 1 and 2 of Marine Notice No 03 of 2024, a PDF of which is attached below.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) which will display appropriate lights and signals. The vessel will be towing a Jackson demersal trawl during fishing operations.

The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a 3nm radius area around the tow points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period.

Further details are included in the Marine Notice below.

Published in Fishing

The annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS) for 2023 will be carried out by the Marine Institute off the North West, West and South Coasts of Ireland from Tuesday 31 October to Saturday 16 December.

The IGFS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of approximately 170 fishing hauls of 30-minute duration each in ICES areas VIa, VIIb, VIIg and VIIj.

Fishing will take place within a two-nautical-mile radius of the positions indicated in the appendices to Marine Notice No 68 of 2023, which can be downloaded below.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) which will display appropriate lights and signals. The vessel will be towing a high headline GOV 36/47 demersal trawl during fishing operations.

The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a two-nautical-mile area around the tow mid-points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period outlined above.

Further details can be found in the Marine Notice attached below.

Published in Fishing

The Department of Transport has been advised by Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) that the Marine Institute will undertake site investigation survey works at the Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS) in Co Mayo.

The survey is expected to be completed over a 10-day period from Sunday 17 September, subject to weather and operational constraints.

Geophysical and geotechnical survey work and benthic sampling will be carried out at Test Area A, 16km from Belderra Strand, and Test Area B, 6km from Belderra Strand on the Erris Peninsula. Benthic sampling will be carried out along the proposed cable corridor at AMETS.

The survey vessel RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) will carry out the site investigation works. Throughout operations, the vessel will be displaying appropriate lights and shapes, and will also be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre.

Other vessels operating in the AMETS area are requested to give the survey vessel a wide berth during survey operations. Mariners are also advised to keep continuous watch on VHF Channel 16 when navigating the survey area at AMETS.

Coordinates and a map of the survey areas as well as contact details can be found in Marine Notice No 55 of 2023, attached below.

Published in Power From the Sea

Surface ocean carbon dioxide observations from Irish waters collected by the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer have been published in the 2023 version of the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT).

With over 42 million surface ocean CO2 measurements from across the globe, SOCAT is a key dataset for quantifying the evolving ocean uptake and sink for CO2.

This data provides scientists, climate researchers and international policy makers with essential information on ocean carbon dioxide measurements. And such observations are essential to understand current and project future climate change as well as for monitoring changes in ocean chemistry and predicting the impacts of these changes.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations continue to rise rapidly and currently are at about 420 parts per million (ppm), up from 280ppm in preindustrial times.

The current atmospheric level would be significantly higher, and climate change even more pronounced, but for our global ocean absorbing about a quarter of CO2 emissions from human activities each year.

There is, however, a cost: Absorbing additional CO2 increases the acidity of seawater. This process is known as ocean acidification, and it may have dramatic consequences for marine life, as detailed in a recent assessment by OSPAR.

If sea water is too acidic, it can make it difficult for marine organisms such as coral, oysters and mussels to form shells and skeletons. The impacts of ocean acidification and warming could also extend up the food chain, affecting fisheries and aquaculture, threatening food security for millions of people.

Evin McGovern at the Marine Institute, who was co-convenor of the international expert group that produced the OSPAR Ocean Acidification assessment said: “High-quality measurements of surface ocean carbon dioxide are needed for a better understanding of the impact of ocean-atmosphere interactions on climate. The Marine Institute is contributing to global science, providing advanced scientific knowledge which will help inform policy and our response to a changing ocean.”

Ocean and atmospheric CO2 measurements have been collected on the RV Celtic Explorer since 2017. This year Ireland joined the Integrated Carbon Observing Station (ICOS), a European Infrastructure network supporting standardised high-precision carbon flux measurements between atmosphere, land and the ocean, and the RV Celtic Explorer was adopted as an ICOS Ocean “station”.

In Ireland, marine CO2 measurements are also collected at fixed stations and additional CO2 observing capacity will be available on the new national research vessel, the RV Tom Crean, extending the coverage.

Published in Marine Science

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 first and second legs of this year’s Irish Anglerfish and Megrim Survey (IAMS 2023) will be carried out from Saturday 11 February to Tuesday 7 March.

Surveys will be conducted to the West, Southwest and South Coasts of Ireland by the Marine Institute in fulfilment of Ireland’s obligations under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

IAMS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of approximately 110 otter trawls, each of 60 minutes duration, in ICES areas 7b, 7c, 7g, 7h, 7j and 7k.

Fishing in 2023 will take place within a three-nautical-mile radius of the positions indicated in Appendices 1 and 2 of Marine Notice No 02 of 2023, a PDF of which is attached below.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) which will display appropriate lights and signals. The vessel will be towing a Jackson demersal trawl during fishing operations.

The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a 3nm radius area around the tow points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period.

Further details are included in the Marine Notice below.

Published in Fishing

The annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS) for 2022 will be carried out by the Marine Institute off the North West, West and South Coasts of Ireland from next Monday 31 October to Friday 16 December.

The IGFS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of approximately 170 fishing hauls of 30-minute duration each in ICES areas VIa, VIIb, VIIg and VIIj.

Fishing will take place within a two-nautical-mile radius of the positions indicated in the appendices to Marine Notice No 73 of 2022, which can be downloaded below.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) which will display appropriate lights and signals. The vessel will be towing a high headline GOV 36/47 demersal trawl during fishing operations.

The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a two-nautical-mile area around the tow mid-points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period outlined above.

Further details can be found in the Marine Notice attached below.

Published in Fishing

The third leg of this year’s Irish Anglerfish and Megrim Survey (IAMS 2022) will be carried out from Wednesday 13 to Friday 22 April.

Following this month’s surveys off the West, Southwest and South coasts, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, leg three will be conducted to the North and North West coast of Ireland by the Marine Institute in fulfilment of Ireland’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) obligations.

The demersal trawl survey will consist of some 50 otter trawls each of 60 minutes’ duration in ICES area 6.a, conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB).

The vessel will be towing a Jackson demersal trawl during fishing operations and will display appropriate light and signals.

Maps and coordinates of the survey area can be found in Marine Notice No 12 of 2022, attached below.

Published in News Update

Fisheries research undertaken by Marine Institute scientists features in a new short documentary from Europe's leading international news channel.

Produced by Euronews, ‘Where’s the catch? The fishery surveys keeping our seas sustainable’ follows the RV Celtic Explorer during the annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS), which most recently took place from October to December 2021.

This six-week fisheries survey in Ireland’s Atlantic shelf takes place each year, with the survey passing through 170 points on the nautical chart.

The IGFS assesses commercially exploited fish stocks, such as haddock and whiting. The survey provides an index of the share of young fish in the stock, which in turn gives an indication of its spawning success.

In the video, David Stokes of the Marine Institute, and chief scientist on the IGFS, explains the sampling processes and the survey’s importance, while scientists Jennifer Doyle and Sinead O’Brien discuss what data is collected in the research vessel’s laboratory.

This Irish survey is one of many conducted in a coordinated way along the northern and western coasts of the European continent. The data collected from all surveys is compiled and analysed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES).

Dr Ciaran Kelly, director of fisheries, ecosystems and advisory services at the Marine Institute, said: “We are delighted for our work to be featured in this Euronews documentary, as Marine Institute scientists play a key role in carrying out assessments and developing the scientific evidence and advice at ICES.

“The important scientific work undertaken by our scientists is essential for supporting a sustainable ocean economy, as well as protecting and managing our marine ecosystems.”

The video is part of the monthly ‘Ocean’ series produced by Euronews and the European Commission, which is broadcast in nine languages and available in 160 countries.

Published in Marine Science

The first and second legs of this year’s Irish Anglerfish and Megrim Survey (IAMS 2022) will be carried out from next Saturday 5 February to Tuesday 1 March.

Surveys will be conducted to the West, Southwest and South Coasts of Ireland by the Marine Institute in fulfilment of Ireland’s obligations under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

IAMS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of approximately 110 otter trawls, each of 60 minutes duration, in ICES areas 7b, 7c, 7g, 7h, 7j and 7k.

Fishing in 2022 will take place within a three-nautical-mile radius of the positions indicated in Appendices 1 and 2 of Marine Notice No 04 of 2022, a PDF of which is attached below.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) which will display appropriate lights and signals. The vessel will be towing a Jackson demersal trawl during fishing operations.

The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a 3nm radius area around the tow points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period.

Further details are included in the Marine Notice below.

Published in News Update
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Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020