Marine Institute forms partnership with Portuguese counterparts

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Galway daily news Marine Institute Portuguese partnership

Galway’s Marine Institute has formed a partnership with its Portuguese counterpart the Hydrographic Institute to deepen cooperation on ocean research in the Atlantic.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Rear Admiral Carlos Ventura Soares, Director General of the Hydrographic Institute and outgoing CEO of the Marine Institute Dr Peter Heffernan at its Oranmore headquarters last week.

The MoU aims to foster a greater exchange of ideas and information between the two institutes to further both countries’ marine sectors and increase collaboration in Atlantic Ocean research.

“This agreement will increase our collaborations with Portugal, particularly in the area of data services, mapping, oceanography and monitoring,” said Michael Gillooly Director of Ocean Science and Information Services at the Marine Institute.

“Through a coordinated approach, and sharing expertise and resources we will be able to further enhance our understanding of our Atlantic Ocean to effectively observe, analyse, model and predict the impacts of our changing oceans.”

As part of the visit, Rear Admiral Soares was given an overview of the range of work that is currently being carried out by the Marine Institute.

Staff shared their knowledge on oceanographic research and observation, such as ocean modelling, the Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network and the Institute’s participation in the Euro-Argo programme.

The admiral also got a look at the work being done by the Institute’s two research ships, the RV Celtic Explorer and Celtic Voyager,  as well as the as yet unnamed state-of-the-art ship which is expected to be completed by 2022.

Other projects that were showcased included data visualisation tools that have been used to support marine spatial planning activity, marine environmental monitoring and sustainable management of Ireland’s fish stocks.

Last week it was announced that a major shakeup was happening at the Marine Institute as its first and only CEO Dr Peter Heffernan is stepping down after 27 on the job.

He is being replaced at the helm by Dr Paul Connolly who is currently serving as Director of Fisheries and Ecosystems Advisory Services at the Institute.