INFOMAR, the national seabed mapping programme, aims to provide comprehensive and accessible marine datasets for Irish waters that underpin and add value to marine research and government policy. These products will foster growth within the national blue economy, maintain the health and integrity of our natural marine environment while facilitating international collaboration and best practice in the sustainable development of Ireland's marine resource. INFOMAR is jointly-managed by the Geological Survey Ireland and the Marine Institute.
There is an ongoing requirement for high resolution substrate maps that accurately depict the sediment properties of the seabed and improve our knowledge of the marine environment.
A Coastal Sediment Sampling Project, funded by the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and led by INFOMAR, was established to conduct intense sediment sampling and environmental data collection (including video) surveys on areas of interest in Ireland’s coastal waters to develop high resolution sediment, substrate and habitat maps, increase the accuracy of these key derived products and support ancillary EMFF projects coordinated by the Marine Institute. Furthermore, this strategic campaign will support Ireland’s Marine Spatial Plan, and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, identified as priority action(s) of the EMFF Operational Programme.
This report details the second leg of the EMFF Coastal Sediment Sampling Project which was conducted in offshore coastal waters of the Irish Sea and along Irelands south coast. Five sampling areas were chosen of which three were surveyed, with each area requiring additional sediment data in order to increase the resolution of existing seabed classification charts. The primary aim of this survey was to retrieve sediment samples for Particle Size Analysis from these selected areas to increase the accuracy of relevant substrate and habitat maps.