INSPIRE Knowledge Base

Marine Institute

LMO Description
Marine Institute
Proposed role in INSPIRE development
  • be kept informed
  • yes
    Level of authority: 
    Republic of Ireland
    Formal Mandate: 
    <p>The Marine Institute was set up under the 1991 Marine Institute Act (Ireland) with the following role: </p> <p>“to undertake, to co-ordinate, to promote and to assist in marine research and development and to provide such services related to research and development that, in the opinion of the Institute, will promote economic development and create employment and protect the marine environment” </p>
    Main Activities: 
    1. Seafood Safety The Marine Institute carry out a range of seafood safety programmes to ensure that Irish seafood products going on National and International markets are of the highest quality regarding food safety standards. This monitoring complies with a range of EU law as well as national requirements. This work is carried out in conjunction with the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Current programmes carried out by the Institute include Shellfish Biotoxins, Veterinary Drug Residue monitoring in farmed Fish, Shellfish Microbiology and Chemical Pollutants 2. Phytoplankton The Marine Institute monitors phytoplankton under a national programme which has been in place since the 1980s. During this period, phytoplankton scientists have developed an understanding of phytoplankton populations and dynamics around the Irish coastline, especially in relation to those that cause shellfish toxicity. Particular emphasis is put on harmful species, however the importance of phytoplankton as an indicator of water quality is also studied and is a key component of the Water Framework Directive. 3. Benthic Monitoring The Marine Environment and Food Safety Services Benthic Monitoring Unit is responsible for the review and assessment of existing and proposed activities that may have an influence on the marine environment. Surveys using a variety of tools have been used to assess natural conditions prior to development or to assess the conservation status of an area. 4. Environmental Chemistry Monitoring and assessment of marine environmental quality is implemented to comply with various EU directives and also in accordance with OSPAR’s Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme. 5. Fish Health The Fish Health Unit (FHU) is the National Reference Laboratory in the Republic of Ireland for fish and shellfish diseases. The Unit supports the aquaculture industry and the inland fisheries sector in maintaining Ireland’s superior fish and shellfish health status. In line with EU Directives it provides statutory services by monitoring the health of all stocks of farmed fish and shellfish which are moved within the country. 6. Fish Stock Assessment The overall aim of fisheries science is to provide information to managers on the state and life history of the stocks. This information feeds into the decision making process. Fisheries science, economic, social and political considerations all have an impact on the final management decision. Ireland shares the Total Allowable Catches - TACs - for many stocks we exploit with our European Union partners. Because of this international dimension many stocks need to be assessed in an international forum 7. Oceanography Oceanographic Services provide comprehensive services within the Marine Institute and externally to industry, third level partners and the public who have an interest in our oceans. One of our main responsibilities is the operation and maintenance of the National Weather Buoy Network, consisting of five buoys around the Irish coast. 8. Salmon, Sea Trout & Eels The Marine Institutes role is to investigate the causes of the decline of these species by developing a deeper understanding of the complex biology of these fascinating animals. In this way we can provide scientific advice which will slow down or halt this decline and more importantly restore these stocks to safe biological levels and allow sustainable fishing for commercial and recreational fishermen. 9. Sea Lice The Marine Institute is charged with carrying out regular inspection of sea lice levels around the country in accordance with the Department of Marine and Natural Resources Framework on Aquaculture Monitoring, Protocol No.3: Offshore Finfish Farms - Sea Lice Monitoring and Controls