25th September

Ten years on and ICZM is still somewhere on the distant horizon

Inshore Ireland masthead

A look back ten years to Inshore Ireland’s first lead story sees us bemoaning the lack of an effective, workable national policy for Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Looking deeper into that article, a key finding of a 2004 review of ICZM by the Heritage Council leaps out ― the stark reality that up to 2005 there had been no advances in policy or legislative developments for ICZM since the publication of a draft policy for Ireland in - 1997!

And staying with that first article we also reported that when compared to national case studies of how the policy of coastal management is handled in the UK, Norway, New Zealand and Australia, the Irish way of doing things is characterised by a sectoral approach to resource exploitation.

Read more: Ten years on and ICZM is still somewhere on the distant horizon

'Surf beat' recorded in Dingle Harbour

John Rapaglia, Luca Zaggia, Kevin Flannery

The first week of 2014 was marked by two large storms whose impacts were felt along the full length of the Atlantic Coast of Ireland. The extreme pressure gradients from these storms led to strong winds and subsequently great (> 30 m waves) offshore of Ireland’s west coast.

Although somewhat tempered by the time they reached Dingle Bay, wave heights during the late night of Jan 3 and early morning of January 6 reached 15 m. The department of Biology at Sacred Heart University, CT USA, in collaboration with Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium deployed two CERA Diver pressure sensors in Dingle Harbor during these storms.

10.1 Surf beat

One pressure sensor was located at the mouth of Milltown Creek and was set to read the water elevation at a frequency of 0.07 Hz in order to capture the tidal oscillation throughout the entire study period (January 1-January 8, 2014). The second pressure sensor was deployed 100 m N of the Dingle Harbor Lighthouse and set to record water elevation at a frequency of 2 Hz in order to capture waver height during the storm.

Read more: 'Surf beat' recorded in Dingle Harbour

INIS Hydro delivers on key objective of future collaboration in seabed mapping

A closing seminar marking the end of INIS Hydro showcased the mapping achievements and capacity building of the data gathered over the 3-year project.

In the splendid Titanic Quarters in Belfast, delegates from many marine disciplines gathered for the event that also discussed further uses of the high resolution bathymetric survey data of 1,400 km2 of seabed in the Republic of Ireland, (Dundalk Bay), Northern Ireland (SE Mourne Coast, Carlingford Lough, Dundrum Bay) and Scotland (Firth of Lorn and Kintyre).

The INIS Hydro team on 'Titanic's' staircase

The INIS Hydro team on 'Titanic's' staircase

Opening his key note speech, Sir Alan Massey, KCB, CBE Chief Executive, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, admitted that at launch in July 2011, the project seemed like a “hugely ambitious” cross-border project:“

Read more: INIS Hydro delivers on key objective of future collaboration in seabed mapping

Surveying the white ribbon

Eoin McGrath, GSI

With the bulk of Ireland’s deep, offshore waters now mapped in great detail during the course of the Irish National Seabed Survey, the task of surveying the inshore territory has fallen to the INFOMAR programme (Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resource) – a joint venture run by the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute.

White ribbon of seabed around the Irish coast yet to  be surveyed by INFOMAR

White ribbon of seabed around the Irish coast yet to  be surveyed by INFOMAR

Ireland’s rugged coastline makes for a challenging environment for the fleet of small vessels employed to carry out this duty: RV Keary, M.V. Cosantóir Bradán and RV Geo. These boats are required to venture where other vessels do not – areas of dangerous shoals and shallow rocks many of which have not been charted in over a hundred years. These areas to be mapped can be collectively termed as the ‘white ribbon’, ― the blank strip skirting Ireland’s coastline in the image of modern seabed data coverage.

Read more: Surveying the white ribbon

Irish online service to aquaculture scoops European award

Lisa Fitzpatrick, Marine Instiute

ASIMUTH, an Irish-led EU Framework 7 funded project (FP7), has been awarded the COPERNICUS (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) Masters Prize for best earth-monitoring service for European citizens 2013.  The pan-European project developed an online alert system (HAB Forecast) to provide an early warning to the aquaculture industry of imminent harmful algal blooms (red tides).

ASIMUTH is led by the Daithi O’Murchu Marine Research Station, (DOMMRS) in Bantry and involves scientists and SMEs from five European Atlantic States (Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain and Portugal). 

Joe Silke, Glenn Nolan and Claire Cusack, Marine Institute


Glenn Nolan, Joe Silke and Claire Cusack, Marine Institute

Project partners include the Marine Institute and Irish SME Numerics Warehouse Ltd, Galway, as well as international MeteoGroup Offshore which has an office in Ennis, Co. Clare. 

Read more: Irish online service to aquaculture scoops European award

Expansion of the Explorers Marine Education programme kicks off with Maths Week

Cushla Dromgool-Regan

The Explorers Marine Education programme aimed at primary schools has been re-launched in Galway with the expansion of more than forty-five schools participating in the programme.

Throughout ‘Maths Week’ (October 14th – 18), Explorer workshops at Galway Atlantaquaria will help primary school students develop maths skills as well as learn about the ocean and Ireland’s seashores. 

Nathan Walsh, 5,  and Nina Ozuabanda,6 on Grattan beach in Salthill. Photo:Andrew Downes

Nathan Walsh, 5, and Nina Ozuabanda, 6, on Grattan beach in Salthill

“With over one thousand primary school students now ready to take part in the Explorers programme, the schools selected are sure to develop an inspiration and enthusiasm for the marine.

"Skills will also be developed through cross-curricular subjects including maths, science, geography, literacy and the arts,” remarked Bernard Kirk, director of the Galway Education Centre.

He added that the level of teacher interest was testament to the programme and hoped it would continue to grow.

Early education

The Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria established the Explorers Education Programme over eight years ago with the aim to ensure that primary school students developed an interest in Ireland’s marine resources and its future development early in their education.

“Having a better understanding of our marine environment often begins in the classroom. So, by generating a passion in this area, we can bring social, cultural and economic benefits to our communities,” remarked Dr Noirin Burke, Explorer Education Officer.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the schools over the next year where the students will learn about our oceans, marine species and Ireland’s marine resource,” she added.

The programme involves the unique use of salt water aquariums in the classroom; seashore safaris on local beaches; marine-based projects about species, habitats and environmental care, as well as workshops offered during maths, science and engineering weeks.

Students and teachers will then be presented with an Explorer Certificate of Participation. The Explorers programme continues in Clare, Mayo, Dublin and Cork, in association with partners Galway Atlantaquaria, Blackrock Education Centre, Sea Life Centre Bray and the Lifetime Lab, Cork.

Explorer teaching materials, including a wide maths lesson plans and worksheets are available to download free of charge at www.explorers.ie

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