Oceans of Learning focuses on Food From Our Ocean

Shellfish. Photo Fionn O Fearghail
27 May 2020 - Exploring the science behind our seafood with 'Food from our Ocean' is the first topic in the Marine Institute's Oceans of Learning series. The Marine Institute and partners are celebrating our world's shared ocean and our connection to the sea through an Oceans of Learning series, sharing news and offering online interactive activities, videos and downloadable resources on a new marine topic each week.

Oceans serve as the world's largest source of protein, with more than 3 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source of protein. With the United Nations anticipating the global population to grow to 9.8 billion by 2050, seafood has a critically important role to play in global food security and nutrition for our growing population.

Minster for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed said, "The main challenge facing the seafood sector for the foreseeable future will be our recovery from the economic impacts of the current public health crisis. This will require stakeholders to develop a renewed focus on innovation across the seafood sector to ensure that employment is maximised and the momentum for longer term sustainable growth is maintained."

Dr Paul Connolly CEO of the Marine Institute said, "Our Oceans have always been an important and reliable source of food, and our work ensures that this resource is managed in a responsible and sustainable manner. We strive to ensure that Irish fish and shellfish are safe, sustainably sourced and of the highest quality. The Marine Institute supports our seafood sector by providing scientific advice on the sustainable exploitation of the fish and shellfish stocks around Ireland. Our scientists work closely with industry to ensure our shellfish meet approved standards. Research in fisheries and aquaculture is also a key component of our work with the Newport Research Facility acting as a hub for national and international research on fish ecology, genetics and population dynamics "

Ireland's fisheries resource is the bedrock of the Irish seafood industry, which was valued at €1.22 billion in 2019. The waters around Ireland are some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €216 million annually. The Marine Institute works in conjunction with international scientists to assess many of the key commercial fish and shellfish stocks in the waters around Ireland. We provide Government and the European Union with the latest scientific advice on the state of these resources and on what can be sustainably caught from the waters around Ireland.

Shellfish are a valuable component of Ireland's seafood industry. The Marine Institute carries out a year-round national testing programme to ensure that all shellfish are safe before being placed on the market for human consumption. The Institute works closely with the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the shellfish industry to monitor shellfish production areas to ensure that Irish shellfish are produced to the highest standards.

The Marine Institute also provides a range of services to the aquaculture industry to ensure that the industry operates to the highest standards, in the areas of seafood safety, fish health and monitoring of the marine environment.

Oceans of Learning offers videos, interactive activities and downloadable resources on assessing fish stocks, aquaculture, phytoplankton and the work undertaken at the Marine Institute's Newport Research Facility. To view the resources visit Food from our Ocean.

For more information on Oceans of Learning visit www.marine.ie and follow the Marine Institute on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.