Overview of Service Area Research Activities
In addition, and in parallel to their operation programmes, a number of the Marine Institute service areas are engaged in a wide range of research activities. These include participation in national and international research projects as well as the role of research co-ordinator, promotor and funder. An overview of key research activities per service area is outlined below:
Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services (FEAS) undertake a variety of research activities, which strengthen the scientific advice that it provides to Government and the EU, on the exploitation of marine resources and its impact on ecosystems. Examples include:
- Ecosystem approach to fisheries management;
- The interrogation of marine datasets to strengthen the advice on the marine ecosystems;
- The incorporation of tacit knowledge of fishermen into the advisory process;
- Modelling and simulation studies on management plan options;
- Examining options that will lead to the recovery of depleted fish stocks;
- Biology and dynamics of key species in the marine ecosystem e.g. nephrops, herring and black scabbard;
- The impacts of climate change on mackerel and cod;
- Retrieval surveys on lost deepwater fishing gear; and
- Enhanced sampling through co-operation with industry.
Ocean Science and Information Services (OSIS) supports and carries out national and international marine research programmes through its research vessel operations, advanced seabed mapping team, and oceanographics services. Through funding provided through the SSTI, a Marine Climate Change (MCC) team was established in 2007 to investigate the drivers and regulators of Ireland's ocean climate. OSIS research activities include:
The team is also responsible for the operation and management of specialist oceanographic research infrastructure e.g. offshore buoys and tide gauges and the national equipment pool.
Marine Environment and Food Safety Services (MEFS) provide essential scientific advice and a range of marine environmental monitoring services and research to support the Irish Seafood industry. Key research areas within MEFSS include fish health and shellfish safety.
The Fish Health Unit support the aquaculture industry and the inland fisheries sector in maintaining Ireland's superior fish and shellfish health status. Current research includes:
- Health management plans for finfish aquaculture; and
- Investigations into gill pathologies in marine reared finfish.
Shellfish safety programmes include national programmes for shellfish microbiology, shellfish biotoxins and harmful algal bloom monitoring. Recent and ongoing research activities include:
- Analytical methods for shellfish toxins;
- Novel methodologies for detection of toxic phytoplankton; and
- Research to support the quality of the marine environment shellfish waters.
The Marine Chemistry section has an active research portfolio. The team is involved in collaborative interdisciplinary activities with 3rd level sector (DIT, TCD, NUIG, University of Wales Bangor) and other national and international organisations. Research themes include:
Emerging pollutants in the marine environment, their biological effects on marine organisms and the risk to seafood consumers;
Novel methods for sampling and analysis of chemical parameters in the marine environment, such as use of passive samplers and in situ sensors;
Chemical oceanography including nutrient and carbonate chemistry, pH and ocean acidification.
The Aquaculture and Rearing teams research, monitor, analyse and advise on finfish aquaculture, salmonid rearing, wild salmon & eel stock dynamics and freshwater catchment studies.
Many research publications can be downloaded from the publications section of our website. You can also access our projects database to view information on current and past marine research projects carried out by the Institute and other researchers in Ireland.
Marine Institute Research Facilities
The Marine Institute has state of the art research facilities at our headquarters at Rinville, Oranmore, a Catchment Research Facility in Newport Co. Mayo, and two national research vessels - RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager. We also operate an ocean energy test site together with Sustainable Energy Ireland and the national equipment pool with oceanographic equipment available to hire.