Agreement for the Fishing Industry Signed at Dublin Castle
Yet another milestone in the National Seabed Survey was reached in November 2002 when news of a strategic partnership emerged in Dublin Castle during the National Seabed Survey Seminar. The announcement of an agreement between the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI), Barry Electronics Ltd., and BIM represents a significant step towards increasing efficiencies in the fishing industry. The agreement involves the distribution of bathymetric data (water depth) to Irish fishermen for use on electronic chart plotting systems.
BIM and GSI anticipate that the agreement will lead to the development of a sophisticated plotting system that will not only assist Irish fishermen identify new grounds and reduce gear damage in "high-risk" areas but also allow avoidance of highly sensitive marine ecosystems, to minimise environmental impact on the seabed.
Surveying in Zone 2 (50-200m water depth) began in August using the Marine Institute's vessel the "Celtic Voyager," in Donegal Bay. Processing of this data will be done in due course. One interesting feature from the survey is an area known to local fishermen as "The Bank." This was shown in 3D format during one of the National Seabed Seminar presentations at Dublin Castle. Surveying will continue in Zone 2 in April 03 with the Marine Institute's new research vessel the "Celtic Explorer."
This agreement complements another joint GSI/BIM project funded by the NDP which is already well underway. This project, also part of the National Seabed Survey, is due to deliver seabed classification maps, useful in the determination of fish habitats, for specific interesting pilot areas.
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