28th April, 2023: Minister of State for Trade Promotion and Digital Transformation, Dara Calleary T.D. today visited the Marine Institute's Newport Facility in Co Mayo.
Welcoming Minister Calleary, Dr John Killeen, Chair Marine Institute said: "We are delighted to welcome Minister Calleary to the Marine Institute to see our facilities and meet with some of our scientific researchers. Research is central to the services we provide to industry, government and stakeholders in Ireland. The work that we do here at our Newport facility has national implications, international relevance, and benefits people, policy and planet”.
The Marine Institute's facility in Newport is a unique research centre, where a range of cutting edge research is undertaken including genetics work across several species of salmon, sea bass, pollock and bluefin tuna, as well as research on catchment ecosystems, climate change, oceanography and aquaculture. The facility, which has been in operation since 1955, includes laboratories, a freshwater hatchery, fish rearing facilities, fish census trapping stations, a salmonid angling fishery and a monitored freshwater lake and river catchment.
The research facility forms one of the greatest natural laboratories for studying migratory fish in Europe. Minister Calleary had the opportunity to tour the state of the art facilities and to meet with researchers and scientists and hear about some of the innovative research projects taking place at the site in sustainable seafood, future fisheries and in biodiversity.
Minister Calleary also gained an understanding of the role of the Marine Institute in climate adaptation and particularly how data is collected and used in climate modelling and monitoring, to deal with the impacts of climate change on our coastline. As part of the visit, Minister Calleary was able to visit the manual climate station onsite and see the instruments used to collect data for Met Éireann. The scientists explained Newport’s role as a sentinel site, and its value for monitoring for climate change globally.
Speaking about the Marine Institute’s role Marine Institute CEO, Dr Paul Connolly said: “Forecasting ocean and climate change is one of the Institute’s strategic focus areas. The Marine Institute has a range of observational infrastructures around the Irish marine area continually gathering data on the marine environment. Over the years, we have built up significant time-series information and this data is central to developing digital services including operational modelling which inform climate mitigation and adaptation measures in areas such as sea level rise and flooding.”
Following the visit Minister Calleary said: "It has been a pleasure to meet the Marine Institute scientists based at Newport and to learn about the exemplary research that is carried out there. The Marine Institute work demonstrates how government funding is enabling solution-orientated research in the areas of aquaculture, fisheries and climate change. This research is critical to enable key sectors of our blue economy to develop sustainably. It is also important to see the collaborative approach that underpins these research projects, where Marine Institute scientists are working together with other Government agencies like Met Eireann, BIM, third-level institutions and industry.”
“Ireland has a strong reputation in Europe and internationally for its marine research and innovation, and for driving collaboration in this area. We have a superb marine research community supported by growing national research infrastructure. The Marine Institute’s Newport facility is unique and is enabling research that is delivering important societal benefits. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Marine Institute and their partners for their efforts in building a strong international track record and in applied marine research and innovation,” he said.
Notes to Editor
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.