Ocean Exploration will help us understand of our future
Taking a quote from Sylvia Earle: “No water, no life. No blue, no green” –
I hope for greater investment in and exploration of the marine resources on the planet.
It was really great to see that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., has earmarked the construction of a new marine research vessel for the State in the Department’s Budget this year.
This investment allows the Marine Institute to progress construction on the replacement of the 23 year old Celtic Voyager with a new 52.8 metre modern research vessel. It will provide critical national infrastructure to enable Ireland to address challenges of Brexit and the Common Fisheries Policy as well as climate-induced impacts on our oceans. The build process is expected to be completed in summer 2022 and it will be built in the Spanish shipyard Astilleros Armon Vigo. This new sea going infrastructure will allow Ireland to continue its critical research – deepening our understanding of our oceans and our natural resources. This is a great advance since the 2003 commissioning of the RV Celtic Explorer (picture), at the time described as multi-purpose deep-sea research vessel.
This is really exciting for our research team because we are planning studies on chemical occurrence in the ocean over the coming 4 years. This will mean some scientific studies in the Atlantic, testing new methods of sampling marine waters and bringing samples back to the lab for analysis.
Sylvia Earle, oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer says “Knowing is the key to caring, and with caring there is hope that people will be motivated to take positive actions”. The range of areas of marine science and ocean exploration happening in Ireland means we can get real value from these important infrastructure investments. There is so much to learn from our oceans that can help restore the planet.