King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden visited the Marine Institute headquarters in Oranmore today, Friday 24th May 2019, as part of a three-day state visit.
The King and Queen of Sweden were welcomed by Minister Seán Kyne TD, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands and greeted by senior officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Minister Seán Kyne TD said, "I was delighted to welcome King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden to the Marine Institute in Galway, and discuss the shared interests between our two countries to sustainably manage and develop our marine resource. The visit also encourages further collaboration to observe and understand how our ocean is changing and respond to current and future patterns of change."
Dr Paul Connolly, Director of Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services at the Marine Institute spoke to the King and Queen of Sweden about surveying and assessing fish stocks in Irish waters which assists in sustainably monitoring and developing Ireland's fisheries resource. The King and Queen also viewed a series of artworks produced as part of the EU-funded BlueFish Project, which aims to increase our knowledge and understanding of marine resources and the potential impacts of climate change in the Irish and Celtic Sea ecosystems.
A data buoy from the Irish Marine Data Buoy Network was on display and The King and Queen saw first-hand the infrastructure used to collect data for weather forecasting as well as oceanography research. There was also a presentation on ocean energy and the range of facilities available for marine renewable energy testing and the development of new sensor technologies.
Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute said, "It was an honour to host the King and Queen of Sweden to the Institute, and showcase our work in the area of ocean observation and sustainable fisheries. Providing scientific advice and services in these areas is one of the Institute's key roles, and essential to Ireland achieving a sustainable ocean economy, as well as protecting and managing our marine ecosystems."
King Carl XVI Gustaf has long been interested and active in the long-term health of our oceans and conservation of marine life, serving as Chairman of the Swedish organisation of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) since 1988. King Carl XVI Gustaf is also guardian of the Baltic Salmon Fund, which promotes the sustainable management of wild salmon in the Baltic sea and the rivers along the Baltic coast.
About the Marine Institute
The Marine Institute is the State agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland. The Marine Institute provides government, public agencies and the maritime industry with a range of scientific, advisory and economic development services that inform policy-making, regulation and the sustainable management and growth of Ireland's marine resources. The Institute undertakes, coordinates and promotes marine research and development, which is essential to achieving a sustainable ocean economy, protecting ecosystems and inspiring a shared understanding of the ocean. For more information visit www.marine.ie
About The Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network
The network is managed by the Marine Institute in collaboration with Met Éireann and the UK Met Office and is funded by the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine. The Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network is designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland. The network provides vital data for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research.
About the BlueFish Project
BlueFish aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the marine resources of the Irish Sea and Celtic Sea and examine the effects on and potential vulnerability of selected commercial fish and shellfish from predicted climate change. The purpose of this maritime programme is to connect organisations, businesses and communities on the West coast of Wales with the South-East coast of Ireland.
BlueFish is a partnership between six organisations in Ireland and Wales including the Marine Institute, University College Cork, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Bangor University, Aberystwyth University and Swansea University. The BlueFish project is funded by The Ireland Wales 2014-2020 European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) Programme. For more information visit http://www.bluefishproject.com