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Displaying items by tag: squid

Primary classrooms throughout Ireland are celebrating cephalopods throughout the month of October with the launch of the Explorers Education Programme’s new educational resources focusing on squid.

Marine scientists around the world have been studying squid for many years, learning about their evolution, what they eat and what eats them, as well as their habitats and distribution in the global ocean,” says the Marine Institute’s Patricia Orme.

“When talking about cephalopods, we often think of the charismatic octopus, or the cuttlefish and their ability to change colours. However, squid also have special qualities, including the ability to see long distances in the dark, and being able to fly above the water.”

Squid have also been a point of interest for storytellers, artists, film-makers and museum curators the world over, says Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Camden Education Trust.

“Led by the work of scientists, researchers and storytellers, the Explorers team are delighted to have produced a series of resources that will inspire teachers and children to learn more about the ocean, and possibly become ocean explorers themselves,” she adds.

Find the new resources on the Explorers microsite, and follow the Explorers Education Programme on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more fun facts about squid … and even the fearsome Kraken!

Published in Marine Science

Lineages among oceanic squids which have been said to puzzle researchers for over a century have been resolved by scientists at NUI Galway (NUIG).

A team at the NUIG Ryan Institute has been able to name the different family groups and says this provides important clues as to how squid evolved.

The findings have been published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.

Lead study author Dr Fernando Angel Fernández-Álvarez at NUIG's School of Natural Sciences spent five years collecting tissue from squid during oceanic cruises and when sampling from commercial trawlers.

Oceanic squid on the bottom of the ocean floor with relatively close-up view of tentacles and suckers. Oceanic squid on the bottom of the ocean floor with relatively close-up view of tentacles and suckers. Photo: NOAA OKEANOS Explorer Progra, 2013 Northeast U. S. Canyons Expedition

“The aim was to solve the relationships among this amazing group of animals. I believe this study is an important milestone for the field and a good starting point for performing in-depth studies on the evolutionary trends that shape the huge diversity of oceanic squids,” he said.

“Our research could also be useful as we try to understand how our oceans will respond to ever-increasing pressures from human activities,” he added.

The research team used a method known as genome skimming to reveal the full sequence of DNA and identify relationships among squid.

Each of the discovered groups was named based on the rules dictated by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the team says.

It suggests that scientists will have a way to accurately identify and describe the biodiversity of these marine creatures in the future.

Oceanic squids are a highly significant part of the marine food web.

They are voracious predators and provide the main meal of toothed whales and other endangered megafauna.

They include the largest group of commercially fished cephalopods, the flying squids.

The researchers also discovered what they say are "unexpected and as yet, unexplained, relationships".

"For instance, delicate deep-sea glass squids are more closely related to powerful muscular Humboldt squids and to the unusual monogamous diamondback squid, than to other oceanic squids," the NUIG team states.

“How these remarkable changes in form came about is not yet understood," Prof Louise Allcock of NUIG's School of Natural Sciences, Ryan Institute, explained.

An oceanic squid resting on the seafloor, changing colour as it sits on its elbows to breathe. Photo: NOAA OKEANOS Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U. S. Canyons ExpeditionAn oceanic squid resting on the seafloor, changing colour as it sits on its elbows to breathe. Photo: NOAA OKEANOS Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U. S. Canyons Expedition

“Oceanic squids are an amazingly diverse group of cephalopods – molluscs with arms and tentacles like squid, octopus and cuttlefish - with fascinating adaptations to their watery environment," she said.

" For example, glass squids use their body cavity as a fluid-filled buoyancy chamber, while chiroteuthids develop fishing lures at the end of their tentacles," she said.

“This study also highlights the importance of public scientific collections in addressing long-standing scientific issues," Prof Allcock added.

"We supplemented the material we collected ourselves with samples from various museums including the Smithsonian Institution in the USA, the Biological Reference Collection of the Marine Science Institute in Spain and the Australian Museum, allowing us to have a truly comprehensive oversight of oceanic squids globally,“ she said.

The study was funded by the Irish Research Council through the Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards.

Read the full study in Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society here

Published in Marine Wildlife
Tagged under
Deep sea fishing is alive and well off the west coast of Ireland, and not only is it a hugely enjoyable sport - just one catch can be enough to feed the whole family.
That's what The Irish Times' Elizabeth Birdthistle discovered in the last of her series on catching your dinner in Ireland.
Birdthistle set out for the waters off Inis Boffin with John Brittain, who has been skippering his angling boat Bluewater for 20 years for the charter fishing season between April and October.
The boat takes up to 12 anglers who are more than eager to pay €70 a head to catch large cod, pollack and mackerel in abundance. Even novices are welcome, as the fee covers all rods, tackle and tuition.
Squid and octopus are also on the cards, as are some larger quarries such as sharks and ray - though these can only be fished in a tag-and-release programme. Smaller catches also get thrown back to propogate.
"The biggest shark caught here weighed 150lbs," writes Birdthistle,  "and, as with all sharks caught, Brittain must tread with caution to release the giant hook or else the shark returns to the deep with part of his hand.
"The tagged sharks have been caught as far away as the Grand Banks off Newfoundland and the Cape Verde islands.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Deep sea fishing is alive and well off the west coast of Ireland, and not only is it a hugely enjoyable sport - just one catch can be enough to feed the whole family.

That's what The Irish Times' Elizabeth Birdthistle discovered in the last of her series on catching your dinner in Ireland.

Birdthistle set out for the waters off Inis Boffin with John Brittain, who has been skippering his angling boat Bluewater for 20 years for the charter fishing season between April and October.

The boat takes up to 12 anglers who are more than eager to pay €70 a head to catch large cod, pollack and mackerel in abundance. Even novices are welcome, as the fee covers all rods, tackle and tuition.

Squid and octopus are also on the cards, as are some larger quarries such as sharks and ray - though these can only be fished in a tag-and-release programme. Smaller catches also get thrown back to propogate.

"The biggest shark caught here weighed 150lbs," writes Birdthistle,  "and, as with all sharks caught, Brittain must tread with caution to release the giant hook or else the shark returns to the deep with part of his hand. 

"The tagged sharks have been caught as far away as the Grand Banks off Newfoundland and the Cape Verde islands."

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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