SOME €700,000 in funding has been announced for the Marine Data Buoy Network.
Mr Creed said that the funding is vital for ‘our weather and oceanographic observation system.’
The funding will provide for both ongoing operations and a significant upgrading of the existing infrastructure.
Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, announced the funding, on board to research vessel RV Celtic Explorer, docked in the Port of Cork.
The minister said: “With the impacts of climate change ever more apparent the Government recognises the importance of increased investment in the existing system. This increased expenditure will support vital climate change research and improve safety at sea.
“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing nations, governments and decision makers worldwide. With the incidences of extreme weather conditions increasing, the Government’s investment in the network is very significant but essential. This ongoing and additional funding will enable the Marine Institute to provide essential national services in ocean observation and weather forecasting programmes that have regional and local impact on our livelihoods, safety and the growing blue economy.”
The Marine Data Buoy Network is managed by the Marine Institute in collaboration with Met Éireann. The network provides crucial data for weather forecasting, risk management for shipping, the fishing community and coastal towns and villages with advanced warnings as well as oceanography research and data on Ireland’s deep waters.
This investment in the network will enable the upgrade of the network with new generation buoy platforms and a suite of sensors, replacing the current technology that has been in use since 2008.
Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, said: “Investment in the observation buoys and other infrastructures and research capacities will enable Ireland to be at the forefront in providing critical research capacity and overcoming infrastructure gaps that, in the past, have reduced our ability to address questions of national and global importance with respect to climate and ocean change.”