#MarineScience - The Marine Institute invites fifth and sixth class primary school pupils to take part in Exploring the XTRA-Ordinary, a new writing competition where the winner and their class will be invited to visit Ireland’s national maritime research vessel Celtic Explorer in Galway in early December.
Students are asked to get creative and write a poem about the XTRA-Ordinary exploration on the RV Celtic Explorer and demonstrate their understanding of Ireland’s marine life and ocean.
The winner and their class will be given a tour on board the RV Celtic Explorer and get to meet the crew and scientists that work on board, as well as see the Remotely Operated Vehicle Holland 1.
Students will also get the opportunity to visit the Dry Lab, where scientists collect data from the ocean that is used to produce maps of Ireland’s seabed, and the Wet Lab where scientists collect marine samples and research marine species that live in the ocean.
A short-list of the entries will be displayed and winners will be announced at the 2013 Galway Science and Technology Festival that takes place at NUI Galway on 24 November from 10am to 6pm.
Entries must be sent to Cushla Dromgool-Regan, The RV Celtic Explorer’s XTRA-Ordinary Writing Competition, Communications Office, The Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Co Galway. The closing date for entries is Thursday 21 November 2013.
For more information about the competition see HERE. And teachers can find lesson plans about poetry, images and footage of marine species and habitats and the activities of the RV Celtic Explorer on the Marine Institute website HERE.
In other schools news, Ayr Hill National School in Ramelton, Co Donegal took the top honour in the 'Something Fishy' education programme for 2013.
Students and staff from the school visited the Donegal Education Centre on Friday 25 October to receive their national award – won in the last two years by schools in Co Wexford - for their class project on the River Leannan and the threat posed to it by invasive species.
At the award ceremony, Ayr Hill principal Hilary McNutt was presented with the perpetual trophy by Inland Fisheries Ireland chief Dr Ciaran Byrne and a class trophy from the IFI board chair Brendan O’Mahony.
Donegal GAA player Mark McHugh was also on hand to add his congratulations and present each student with an individual ‘goodie bag’.
McNutt praised the work of her pupils, the Education Centre and IFI staff Owen Kelly and Paul Burke, whose interest and passion for their work enthused and engaged the children with the project.
The River Leannan project involved preparatory class work and the pupils visiting eight sites along the river from source to sea taking physical readings as well as looking at land use, flora and fauna and in particular watching out for ‘alien species'.
Some 15 scientists comprise the crew of the research vessel for the 3,200-nautical-mile voyage, including eight members of the core acoustic and biological team, plus four seabird observers, one marine mammal observer, one observer from the fishing industry and a PhD student in environmental microplastics.
The boat's first day at sea saw the crew treated to the sight of more than 50 common dolphins around the Blasket Islands and Dingle Bay, which also boasts an important concentration of seabird species such as sooty shearwaters, guillemots and storm petrels.
The latter, also known as 'stormies', are one of the hardiest bird species, especially for their tiny size - many living for up to 30 years despite the challenging conditions the face far out to sea on their migratory path to south-west Africa.
But herring stocks are the focus of this survey, and where there's herring there are whales - with multiple fin whales and at least one humpback whale spotted south of Union Hall last Thursday 10 October.
For more updates from the Celtic Explorer crew follow their [email protected] blog HERE.
#MarineSCIENCE- Postgraduate students from the International SmartOcean Graduate Enterprise Initiative (ISGEI) recently had the experience of a two-day practical offshore course in advanced marine technologies onboard the national research vessel RV Celtic Voyager.
The course focussed on Sensors, Moorings and other autonomous marine monitoring systems and examined biological, chemical, acoustic and visual sensing, biofouling of sensors, communications and telemetry and sensor calibration.
This innovative pilot training course was developed and delivered by Dublin City University and the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) based in Galway-Mayo institute of Technology, in association with NUI Galway and Smart Bay Ireland and with ship-time provided by the Marine Institute.
According to Prof. Fiona Regan of DCU "Practical offshore courses enhance the skills base of the International Smart Ocean Graduates. We need to build capacity in this area and the SMART programme offers fantastic training opportunities for our researchers."
The practical considerations when deploying a sensor platform was also explored, in particular site assessment, determination of local hydrographic conditions, deployment
and recovery of mornings and in situ maintenance.
Other elements essential to working in an offshore environment were examined including navigation, safety at sea, and the risk assessment of operations at sea.
James Kelly of Tyndall National Institute is an ISGEI student and took part in the training: "The most valuable part of the training for me would be related to the sensor work and the information on biofouling, and as I am an electrical engineer, that is what I had hoped to get from the training".
SMART Coordinator Dr Pauhla McGrane stressed the collaborative effort involved in the development and delivery of the course stating "The ISGEI Sensors and Moorings course shows what can be achieved through effective collaboration of research and industry with the pooling of expertise and infrastructure to deliver innovative, novel training essential to the career development of emerging marine scientists and technicians".
The training was carried out under the Sea Change strategy with the support of the Marine Institute and the Marine Research Sub-programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013.
The 65m vessel, which is not a regular visitor to the port, had berthed at Ocean Pier. According to the Marine Institute's vessel survey schedule, she was conducting a Methane-derived Authigenic Carbonate (MDAC) survey headed by chief scientist Dr. Yvonne Leahy of the institute.
The survey was to complete a drop camera survey of a MDAC site in the Irish Sea, some 25 nautical miles offshore of Dublin Bay.
Celtic Explorer which is 2,425 tonnes and has a total of 35 personnel, and equally the same number of days in endurance range. Accommodation is for 22-30 scientists, 13-15 crew (dependent to operational requirements). Scientific quarters are for 4 single cabins and 9 double en-suite cabins.
Her inshore fleetmate, the 31m RV Celtic Voyager of 340 tonnes has an endurance capability of 14 days. A total of 15 personel made up of 8 scientists and 7 crew are accommodated in 4-berth quarters.
#SCIENCE SHIPS – It is a rare to have both Marine Institute research vessels calling at the same time to east-coast ports, as normally these Galway-based ships managed by P&O Maritime Services, work off the rest of the Irish coast, writes Jehan Ashmore.
As previously reported on Aflaot.ie, the RV Celtic Explorer docked in Dublin Port earlier this week. The 65.5m long vessel currently remains moored alongside Sir John Rogersons Quay (berth 6) as the 10-day Euroscience Open Forum 2012 (ESOF) concludes tomorrow in the Convention Centre. High-level delegates from the international scientific community have made the short crossing over the Liffey's Samuel Beckett Bridge to be welcomed on board.
Across Dublin Bay the RV Celtic Voyager had called to Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday, where she stayed overnight for a mid-scientific cruise break, while berthed at St. Michaels Wharf. The 31.4m vessel this morning resumed her scheduled Infomar 2 hydrographic work in the Irish Sea.
#ESOF IN DUBLIN - The Euroscience Open Forum 2012 (ESOF) is to take place in the Convention Centre in Dublin from tomorrow until next Sunday. As part of the key conference, the Marine Institute's RV Celtic Explorer which docked in the centre of the port today, is expected to relocate berths later in the week for visiting high-level delegates, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The forum is billed as Europe's largest general science conference and the capital was chosen to host the Dublin 'City of Science 2012' festival which is year-long celebration of science. The prestigious international event features over 160 events that will showcase the best of Irish culture, arts and science.
Added to this is a 'Science in the City' festival (6-15th July) which is currently well-under way, for further information visit www.dublinscience2012.ie
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited the Marine Institute's research vessel RV Celtic Explorer in Dublin Port today, where he announced the creation of 92 jobs in the marine sector, writes Jehan Ashmore.
"Ireland is now recognised as an emerging power in Marine Research and Innovation," said the Taoiseach. Of the new positions, 64 will be generated in the seafood processing sector. This follows a €3.5m Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). In the area of marine research, 28 jobs have been created through funding of €2m from an International SmartOcean Graduate Programme.
SmartOcean is a collaboration between IRCSET (Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology), the Marine Institute, five Irish universities and key multinationals and SME Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies to provide funding for 28 research posts.
The Taoiseach said: "This has been achieved through the mapping of the 90% of Irish national territory that lies under the Atlantic, the creation of a quarter of a billion Euros worth of marine research infrastructure, and the fostering of strong linkages between industry and research centres, all of which will support employment opportunities in key areas of potential growth in the marine sector."
During the tour of the RV Celtic Explorer, the Taoiseach who was accompanied by Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Simon Coveney, welcomed the expansion of Ireland's capabilities in the international shipping services sector, which is expected to attract additional jobs to the country.
Ireland's emerging international shipping services sector has continued to grow, underpinned by a number of investments in new and second hand ships over the last twelve months by such companies as Arklow Shipping and the Mainport Group, as well as foreign direct investments by D'Amico and Ardmore shipping.
As reported on Afloat.ie, RV Celtic Explorer had arrived yesterday into Dublin Port, having completed a fisheries demersal survey which started in Galway on 23 September. Initially she had docked at Ocean Pier but she subsequently shifted berths to Sir John Rogersons Quay for today's reception of An Taoiseach. According to her survey schedule she is due to depart tomorrow on a herring acoustic survey which is to take place in the Celtic Sea and off the south-west coast.
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- Bord Iascaigh Mhara
- Ports and Shipping News
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- Mainport Group
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- An Taoiseach Enda Kenny
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- Sir John Rogersons Quay
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According to the vessels survey schedules, RV Celtic Explorer had today completed fisheries demersal surveys which started in Galway on 23 September. The near fortnight-long survey was conducted in the ICES area VI, under the direction of chief scientist, Dave Stokes.
On Friday she embarks on a herring acoustic survey which is to take place in the Celtic Sea and the south-west. This survey will be under chief scientist Ciaran O'Donnell and is to de-mobilise in Cork on 27 October. To read more about her 2011 survey programme click HERE.
Across Dublin Bay in neighbouring Dun Laoghaire, the 31m RV Celtic Voyager is currently nearing the end of a month-long hydrography survey of the Celtic Sea. The survey had started in Howth Harbour on 17 September under chief scientist Kevin Sheehan. For the time-being she remains moored in Dun Laoghaire prior to resuming survey work which will continue until the vessel de-mobilises in Rosslare in mid-October. To find out more about her remaining surveys for this year click HERE.
On the surveys outlined they are conducted on behalf of Marine Institute scientists, though the vessels are also allocated ship-time for use of third parties. These include government departments and agencies, universities, research institutes and industry. For further information on the research vessels, survey schedules etc can be found by visiting: www.marine.ie/home/Research+Vessels.htm
These figures compare favourably with our European counterparts, reflecting a high level of activity on national and international research and monitoring programmes.
Work duties in 2011 for the Galway based vessels will range from fisheries surveys to underwater mapping and from climate studies to deepwater surveys with the remotely operated submersible ROV Holland 1. The work schedule will facilitate training missions and to carry out essential maintenance work on Ireland's network of data buoys that, in parallel to their research function, supply the vital information on which weather and shipping forecasts are based.
The increased activity of the research vessels reflects the growing imperative to understand and sustainably manage the economic potential of our offshore marine territories, an area over ten times that of Ireland itself.
A major role of the ships' workload will be commercial fish stock assessments. Together they are to devote 141 days on stock surveys in support of the sustainable management of Ireland's fisheries.
The RV Celtic Voyager will conduct underwater television surveys of valuable prawn stocks off the Aran Islands, the Irish and Celtic Seas, working on blue whiting, a survey of herring stocks in the north-west. In addition a comprehensive 54-day annual Irish Groundfish Survey which will take place in stages all around the Irish coast from September to December.
The survey will be the largest undertaken by an Irish research vessel and is essential to providing the scientific data used to inform the annual quota negotiations required in Brussels each year.
At 65.5m RV Celtic Explorer (2,425grt) accommodates 35 personnel and up to 21 scientists and 31.4m RV Celtic Voyager (340grt) with up to 8 scientists and a maximum endurance of 14-day days. For detailed technical specifications of the Dutch built vessels, RV Celtic Explorer, click here to download a PDF file and for the RV Celtic Voyager click here
For further information contact: Dr John Joyce, Communications Manager of Marine Institute on 087 2250871