The Marine Institute congratulated Mr Simon Coveney TD on his new appointment as the Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, during his visit on board the RV Celtic Explorerin Cork on March 12th, after its return from an epic mission to the Labrador and Newfoundland Seas.
Seeing the capabilities of Ireland’s largest research vessel and the work of the Marine Institute, Mr Simon Coveney highlighted the importance the marine sector holds for the Irish economy. “The seas and ocean that surround the land of Ireland are arguably among our country's greatest natural resources," he said. "Through marine research, development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong reputation as an emerging centre of excellence, where we have prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies."
Ireland’s national research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager will record 627 days at sea between them during 2011. Their work will range from fisheries surveys to underwater mapping and from climate studies to deepwater surveys with the remotely operated submersible ROV Holland 1.
“The work conducted on the vessels continues to feed into Ireland's success in attracting EU funding to its marine science programmes,” explained Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute. “The award of funds to such projects shows that partnerships between academics and small businesses can yield significant dividends in creating jobs, generating economic revenue and the supply of raw materials for new industries ranging from ocean energy and environmental monitoring technologies to marine-inspired pharmaceuticals and food ingredients” he added.