Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Mr. Sean Connick, T.D., today (July 27th), visited the Marine Institute’s headquarters and laboratory facilities at Rinville, Oranmore, Co. Galway where he discussed the creation of new opportunities for growth and employment in Ireland’s marine sector through the application of marine science and technology.
In presentations made by Marine Institute CEO Dr. Peter Heffernan and his management team, the Minister heard how Sea Change – A Marine Knowledge, Research and Innovation Strategy for Ireland 2007 – 2013, a national initiative led by the Institute, has already made significant advances towards the development of a number of technology-based initiatives in the marine sector.
The Minister also toured the state-of-the-art research and monitoring facilities at the Institute where he was shown the latest methods of analysing marine products for the smallest traces of contaminants, how plankton blooms are detected and tracked, and how populations of Dublin Bay Prawns (known to most of us as ‘scampi’) can be counted using specially-developed underwater television techniques.
Following his visit to the Marine Institute, the Minister made his way to the NUI Galway marine research facilities at Carna, Co. Galway, where he visited two Sea Change – funded projects; one on cod farming and another on the cultivation of high-value seaweeds, both of which demonstrate potential for the creation of new marine industries along the Irish coast.
From top: Minister Connick examines images of microscopic plankton with Ms.Josephine Lyons of the Marine Institute's Marine Environment and Food Safety Team.
Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, presents the Minister with a framed print of the "Real Map of Ireland" showing our 220 million acre underwater territory.
Ms. Selene Hoey, of the Institute's Fisheries Science Services Team demonstrates fish stock migration patterns.
Minister Connick, former Marine Minister Mr. Frank Fahey T.D., Mr. Cecil Beamish of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food meet the Marine Institute management team.
All photos by Aengus McMahon - MCM Photo. Galway