The Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resource (INFOMAR) programme is a joint venture between the Marine Institute (MI) and Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI)) and is funded through the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
It is a successor to the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and concentrates on creating integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in the near-shore area.
Since 1999 Ireland’s offshore waters and coastal seas have been subject to one of the largest seabed surveys in the world. The INSS (1999- 2005) involved mapping of more than 80% of Ireland’s seabed territory, supporting the delineation of the exclusive economic zone, and extending inshore coverage to the 200m depth contour overall, with extension in to 50m depth offshore Donegal and Kerry.
The INSS was succeeded by the INFOMAR programme which was tasked with mapping the remaining coastal areas. This is being undertaken in two phases; Phase one (2006 -2016) focusing on 26 inshore priority bays and 3 priority coastal areas, and Phase two (2016 - 2026) mapping the remaining unsurveyed coastal and shelf areas.
INFOMAR provides key baseline data to support coastal and inshore infrastructural and economic development across a broad array of sectors, including shipping and transport, marine tourism and leisure, marine renewable energy, and fisheries and aquaculture.
Data collected are critical to underpin current, wave, pollution and carrying capacity modelling, in support of existing and evolving marine activities.
Additionally the data are of value for applications including marine spatial planning, coastal zone management and licensing decision support, as well as coastal and offshore engineering, cable routing, fisheries management and environmental impact investigations.
INFOMAR is committed to making the vast data resource collected widely and openly available on an ongoing basis to stimulate research and sustainable development of Ireland’s marine resources, and to realise the benefits achievable through the Programme investment. Details on how to access data and products can be found on the INFOMAR website.