18th December

Message in a bottle: the world's oldest at 108 years

A postcard returned to the Plymouth Laboratory of the Marine Biological Association has been recognised by Guinness World Records (February 2016) as the oldest message-in-a-bottle after 108 years, four months and 18 days before being picked up on a beach on Amrum island -  one of the North Frisian Islands on the German North Sea coast.

message in a bottle

Bottles containing postcards were released in the southern North Sea in the early years of the 20th Century, as part of the MBA's research into ocean currents and fish behaviour. The return rate was around 55%, encouraged by the reward of one shilling.

Read more: Message in a bottle: the world's oldest at 108 years

'Blue society' requires education, communication and awarness

EU decision-makers and stakeholders gathered in the European Parliament last November to discuss the project Sea for Society and the ‘blue society’ concept, which envisions a new governance model aimed to make the ocean an integral part of society.

Blue society Copyright Amit Liber copy

 Photo: Amit Liber

 Hosted by Ricardo Serrão Santos MEP and Co-Chair of the Working Group, the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services conference concluded with recommendations to further promote and implement a blue society. Stakeholders also endorsed the concept by signing the Blue Society Stakeholder’s Commitment, advocating the transition towards a ‘blue society’.

Read more: 'Blue society' requires education, communication and awarness

Irish young scientists reach Capetown on board RV Polarstern

German research vessel Polarstern has reached Cape Town, South Africa, following a five-week voyage during which 32 international young scientists were trained to observe and measure the 'vital signs' of the Atlantic Ocean on the North South Atlantic transect (NoSoAT).

RV Polarstern Alfred Wegener Institute Folke Mehrtens Resized

The NoSoAT was an "incredible opportunity" for these students to traverse the Atlantic Ocean. "Along the way, students collected and analysed data on everything from microalgae diversity and ocean dynamics, to satellite remote sensing of sea surface temperature, from Irish and German marine scientists," remarked Dr Paula McGrane, SMART coordindator.

Read more: Irish young scientists reach Capetown on board RV Polarstern

Irish marine energy firms secure State funding

Three Irish marine energy firms are to receive €3.5m in State funding to develop and test new ocean energy technologies. The announcement was made at a major two-day European conference on ocean energy in Dublin.

Open Hydro ICOE2012

Open Hydro's tidal stream device attracts interest at the 4th International Ocean Energy Conference in Dublin, October 20-21. Photo Shay Fennelly/Aquaphoto

Administered through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Ocean Energy secured €2.3m to design and build a full-scale version of their Ocean Energy (OE) Buoy wave energy converter which will be deployed and tested at the US Navy Wave Energy Test Site in Hawaii. The funding is matched by €4.5m from the US Department of Energy in a collaboration between Ireland and US using Irish ocean energy technology.

Read more: Irish marine energy firms secure State funding

World War I shipwrecks revealed

A team of scientists led by Dr Ruth Plets, School of Environmental Sciences at Ulster University aboard the Marine Institute's Celtic Voyager research vessel has revealed detailed images of World War I shipwrecks in the Irish Sea.

The  team set out to capture the highest resolution acoustic data possible of WWI shipwrecks lost in the Irish Sea using a new multi-beam system (EM2040).

SS Chirripo. RMS Leinster 2015 survey

    RMS Leinster torpedoed off Howth Head in 1918 and SS Chirripo stuck a mine in 1917 off Black Head 

"Some of the wrecks, too deep to dive on, have not been seen in 100 years. This is the first time we can examine what happened to them during sinking, and in the intervening 100 years, to try to predict their future preservation state," explained Dr Plets.

Read more: World War I shipwrecks revealed

Innovation centre for Ireland's blue economy

Ireland’s newest co-creation space, The Entrepreneur Ship, has been opened by Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence. The new centre aims to optimise opportunities and accelerate jobs in Ireland's blue economy.

IMERC Entrepreneurship

Val Cummins, IMERC Director, speaking at the opening of The Entrepreneur Ship

“The government has ambitious plans to grow Ireland’s marine economy to maximise the potential of our vast marine resources. Business incubators, accelerators, and co-creation spaces have been proven to support and fast-track start-up companies seeking to exploit emerging market opportunities," remarked Minister Coveney.

Read more: Innovation centre for Ireland's blue economy

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