Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy
and Natural Resources, SeŠn Power, T.D. has launched a new
website, which will provide information on the nature of the
seabed, physical habitats and water depths.
The information has been gathered through INFOMAR (Integrated
Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Irelandís Marine
Resource) - Irelandís national marine mapping programme.
Speaking on board the RV Celtic Explorer - one of
the vessels involved in the programme - Minister Power said
- "With over 220 million acres of our national territory
lying beneath the sea, many of the potential benefits from
this resource are as yet unrealised. The INFOMAR project is
now discovering those resources and making information on
them available online. This website will have benefits for
a wide spectrum of activities from navigation, safety at sea,
fisheries management and seabed resource management.
"As Minister with responsibility for both the Information
Society and Natural Resources, I am delighted to see the INFOMAR
project placing information delivery at the heart of its operations."
Minister Power concluded by paying tribute to all of those
involved in the project, which is jointly managed by the Geological
Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute.
"INFOMAR - along with its predecessor, the Irish National
Seabed Survey - constitutes the largest civilian marine mapping
programme worldwide and they have truly made Ireland a leader
in this field of endeavour. There is a significant level of
coordination required by both organisations, scientists and
the crews of the ships, boats and planes to bring this project
to fruition and I heartily congratulate all involved."
The INFOMAR programme has just concluded operations in Donegal
and Sligo Bays on board the Marine Institute vessel the RV
Celtic Voyager. In addition, aerial LiDAR surveys have
been completed in recent weeks in parts of Galway and Tralee
Bays, together with portions of Lough Foyle.
Speaking at the launch, John Evans, joint programme manager
of the INFOMAR programme from the Marine Institute, said -
ďTogether with our colleagues in the Geological Survey, we
are delighted with the progress we have made to-date in mapping
our in-shore area. These bays are extremely challenging to
survey and we encourage all to view the data via the
To access the INFOMAR website - Click
INFOMAR is an ambitious joint venture between the Geological
Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute to map Irelandís
most productive and commercially valuable inshore waters.
Covering some 125,000 square kilometres of underwater territory,
INFOMAR will produce integrated mapping products covering
the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed.
INFOMAR is a successor programme to the Irish National Seabed
Survey - the combined efforts of which constitute the largest
civilian seabed mapping exercise in the world.
To-date, the INFOMAR programme has conducted detailed surveys
in Bantry, Dunmanus, Galway, Sligo and Donegal Bays, as well
as in priority areas off the south-west coast of Ireland.
INFOMAR uses high-resolution multibeam sonar - measuring
gravity and magnetic variation - and recovering grab samples
for biological, chemical and geological analysis. In addition,
shallower areas (<10m) are mapped using an airborne LIDAR