25th September

Seabed mapping data to deliver added-value across marine tourism and business sectors

Tommy Furvey and Archie Donovan, joint INFOMAR managers

In 2013 INFOMAR (INtergrated Mapping For the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s MArine Resource) undertook a review to establish progress since 2008 across the three primary programme areas of activity; surveying, data provision, and encouraging associated research and development, or adding-value to the survey, infrastructure and data.

Unsurprisingly, performance was very strong in survey and data handling; however it was acknowledged that the reduced resources available to the programme (funding and staffing), impacted most on the latter area of value-added exploitation. To address this, INFOMAR is now working with the Dublin Business Innovation Centre to develop public awareness of the programme, and encourage new sectors to access and utilise the data for business development purposes.The long-term objective is to generate jobs and economic growth and leverage the maximum return on State investment in the seabed mapping initiatives.

10.2 marine RD

INFOMAR continues to play a key role in supporting strategic and research-related, national and EU, marine survey and data related initiatives. In addition to operational activity, INFOMAR acts as a researcher, research coordinator, and research funder, and strongly encourages industry research partnerships. In parallel however, specific focus not centres on a number of key targeted areas that will have significant long-term impact on a broad array of marine sectors.

Read more: Seabed mapping data to deliver added-value across marine tourism and business sectors

Four-part series looks beneath the waves off Ireland

Ireland's Ocean is a major new four-part ocean wildlife series for RTÉ One television beginning Sunday June 22 which explores diverse creatures from dolphins and sharks to plankton and the myriad of tiny colourful creatures that live in offshore and shallow waters around Ireland.

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The seas around Ireland are rich in marine and plant life. Photo George Karbus www.emerald-vision.com

The series looks at the history of man's relationship with and response to the sea, and exams common perceptions of dolphins and sharks:

Are dolphins highly intelligent, sensitive creatures capable of healing sick children? Why are worrying numbers of dolphins washing up dead on our Atlantic coast? Are sharks terrifying animals waiting below the sea surface to eat us?

Read more: Four-part series looks beneath the waves off Ireland

Ireland’s marine resource potential is recognised by government

& Gery Flynn

Government commitment to develop Ireland’s marine resource was underpinned yesterday by the presence of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and four cabinet colleagues at the first annual conference of Our Ocean Wealth -  the integrated marine plan for Ireland.

“Today’s conference is a way of showing that the government is serious about the potential of this sector, and that we’ve decided to take real, strong, clear action,” remarked An Taoiseach Enda Kenny

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An Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking at Our Ocean Wealth conference in Dublin Castle. Photo Gillian Mills

“And we’re saying to people who are thinking about investment to look at this plan, and look at our progress. You can see where our commitment is. Add to that your ideas, your own initiatives, your own propositions because now is the time to get really serious about this.

Read more: Ireland’s marine resource potential is recognised by government

The 'real' map of Inisbofin

Eoin Mac Craith, GSI

In July 2012, the Geological Survey of Ireland vessels RV Keary and RV Geo arrived at Inishbofin, off the coast of Co Galway, with the goal of mapping the underwater terrain surrounding the island. This work took place as part of the INFOMAR seabed mapping programme ― a national project that ultimately aims to map all of Ireland’s inshore waters and offer the data freely available to the public.

INFOMAR Bofin jpg

RV Keary is a 15m aluminium catamaran purpose-built for inshore mapping, while RV Geo is a 7.5m RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) used to enter very shallow water adjacent to intertidal areas and to put the finishing edges to INFOMAR’s marine maps.

Read more: The 'real' map of Inisbofin

National marine conference 2014

The first annual review on progress implmentation of the Government's 2012 publication: Harnessing our Ocean Wealth: An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland, takes place in Dublin Castle on June 18 next.

 8.4RD HOOW

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny launches Harnessing our Ocean Wealth, July 2012. Photo David Ruffles

The conference will cover four themes and include key speakers and panel discussions:

  • global opportunity for Irish seafood
  • research & innovation and emerging sectors
  • energy - offershore hydrocarbons
  • where land meets the sea - opportunities and challenges for marine tourism

    Read more: National marine conference 2014

Highest level recognition of marine resource potential

Inshore Ireland masthead

When it was launched in July 2012 the Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth strategy was broadly welcomed throughout the maritime community as being a significant achievement by government and a welcome first step on the road to tapping into a global marine market for seafood; tourism; oil and gas; renewable ocean energy, and more, worth €1.2bn.

At the time, and by way of a compliment to the professionalism of those concerned, we described the strategy launch as a ‘master class of meticulous and highly choreographed planning’. Two years later the same praise is justly fitting, following the first HOOW conference.

Read more: Highest level recognition of marine resource potential

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