24th March

Mapping the ocean floor by 2030

The Forum for Future Ocean Floor Mapping (June 2016) involving over 150 international senior representatives, scientists, scholars and business associates from ocean-related organisations, endorsed the objective of Seafood 2030 to map the entire ocean floor. More than 85 per cent of the world's ocean floor remains unmapped.


Read more: Mapping the ocean floor by 2030

Marine Research & Innovation Strategy 2021

A public consultation until November 22, 2016, is seeking feedback on a new plan that sets out Ireland’s Marine Research & Innovation Strategy 2016-2021.

Mi Ocean and sunbeams

The draft strategy, prepared by the Marine Institute, outlines marine-related funding requirements across societal challenges, such as transport, food, energy and biodiversity. A review of marine research performance is reflected, along with policy sectoral drivers, to provide a guide for government and funding agencies of the gap in marine research as outlined in the national strategy, Innovation 2020.

Dr Peter Heffernan, Marine Institute chief executive, said the strategy aims to raise capacity across identified themes and to ensure funding is targeted to match requirements highlighted in State policies and sectoral plans.

“There is a high degree of coordination in the State’s approach to research funding as we have seen through the national research prioritisation exercise and Innovation 2020. We hope the Marine R&I Strategy will contribute to that coordinated approach, by providing important insights to funding agencies as how best to target their resources in the cross cutting area of marine research.”

The publication consultation seeks to collect views and opinions on the strategy, scope, objectives and expected impacts, and aims to build on progress made during the previous strategy, Sea Change 2007-2013.

Marine Research & Innovation Strategy 2021

Our Ocean Wealth conference 2016

The third annual conference under the banner, 'Our Ocean Wealth' (Galway, July 1), is targeting international and national industry leaders, policy-makers, researchers and maritime entrepreneurs, to debate the latest in marine innovation, spatial planning, ocean ecosystems and sustainability.

OOW 2016

Gerald Fleming, Met Eireann and Eleanor O'Rourke, Marine Institute, check out an AR sandbox used to explain how we map the seabed

'Into the Blue - Innovating for our Marine Future' will be addressed by Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, head of the Irish Defence Forces; Sigi Grugber, the European Commission DG Research Head of Marine Resources; Gerald Fleming, Met Éireann; Craig McLean, US National Ocean & Atmospheric Administration and Linda Rosborough of Marine Scotland.

Read more: Our Ocean Wealth conference 2016

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

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

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

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