The INtegrated Mapping FOr the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme is a joint venture between the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute. The programme is a successor to the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and concentrates on creating a range of integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in the near-shore area.
The programme is being funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources as part of the National Development Plan, 2007 – 2013.
Why is the INFOMAR Programme being conducted?
Total mapping coverage of the INSS to end of 2005 was 432,000 km² and taken along with an earlier DCENR Petroleum Affairs Division, over 81% of the Irish designated seabed area (at end 2005) has been mapped.
The INSS mapped to approximately the 200m contour and delivered a national asset that has provided Ireland with a data set to underpin present and future economic, environmental, infrastructural, social and policy issues. In addition significant capacity building has taken place both in terms of Irish marine surveying infrastructure and the development of personnel skilled in the design, planning, implementation and management of a large scale integrated marine resource evaluation programme.
There remains a crucially important body of work to follow in mapping commercially valuable inshore and other waters outside the scope of that achieved by the INSS.
A range of diverse navigation, environmental and cultural international legislative obligations must also be addressed.
The INFOMAR Programme is intended to address these outstanding issues while also delivering an enhanced data management and delivery service for data gathered under both the INSS and INFOMAR. This data delivery strategy is intended to promote the creation of value added products.
Where will INFOMAR survey?
Initially INFOMAR will focus on 26 bays and 3 priority areas in its first 10 years of operation. During this period the EU designated Biologically Sensitive Area will also be surveyed on an opportunistic basis, e.g. where use of vessels such as the R.V. Celtic Explorer can be used to best effect by taking part of this area while also working on a priority area.
The 26 bays and 3 priority areas were identified during an extensive stakeholder exercise that was conducted in the period between 2002 and 2005. This exercise included consultation with over 50 organisations government departments, coastal local authorities, industry sectors and consultancy companies.
Click here for more details.
|Geological Survey of Ireland
Beggars Bush, Haddington Road
|Marine Institute Headquarters,