Thomas Furey & Sean Cullen
INFOMAR joint-programme managers
Owing to the Covid 19 crisis, substantial changes were made to the 2020 Survey Operations plan including survey dates, duration and vessels deployed. Proposed survey areas remained largely unchanged although the RV Celtic Voyager worked inside the 30 Nm limit for several days due to crewing and logistical constraints relating to Covid-19 mitigation. In total, the INFOMAR team mapped 9747 sq km of seabed in 2020 which is a 10% more than the original target of 8461 sq km (original 2018 projections). Our new data, when viewed with that collected in previous years, begin to reveal the complexity of the seabed in our marine territory. Understanding this complexity helps underpin environmental studies relating to Ireland’s biodiversity, marine spatial planning and contributes to the Blue Economy.