On Wednesday 19th March, the Marine Institute at Rinville, Oranmore played host to an important delegation from the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries. The Delegation, headed by Elspeth Attwooll of the UK contained several Irish MEPs including Sean O'Neachtain and Colm Burke and Jim Allister, Northern Ireland. The delegation was also supported by a secretariat, including Francis Jacobs, head of the European Parliament Dublin Information Office, interpreters and a small political group.
Welcoming the Delegation to the Marine Institute's headquarters and laboratory facility at Oranmore, MI CEO Dr. Peter Heffernan outlined the work of the Institute and in particular the innovative and ecosystem-focussed work on fisheries which is part of Sea Change: A Marine Knowledge, Research and Innovation Strategy for Ireland 2007-2013. This work was further explained by Dr Paul Connolly, Director of the Institute's Fisheries Science Services Team.
Other presentations included an introduction to the Institute's role in aquaculture and migratory fish species from Dr. Ken Whelan, Director of the Institute's Aquaculture and Catchment Management Services Team. This was followed by presentations on the Institute's important role in safeguarding Irish seafood products through its monitoring work on biotoxin and microbial monitoring.
The Delegation then toured the building and had a first-hand glimpse of the work that is undertaken in its fifty-four state-of-the-art laboratories.