Marine Institute Newport facility to hold open day

The Marine Institute's Research Facility in Furnace, Newport, will open its doors to primary school students this week, and hold an open day this Sunday April 14 from 11am to 4pm.

Primary students from Newport, Kilmeena, Carrowholly, Glenhest, Knockroosky and Snugboro schools visited the Newport Catchment Facility earlier this week, during which the students spoke with scientists and viewed the freshwater hatchery and fish rearing facilities on site. Beavers and cubs from the Westport and Ballyhaunis Scout groups will tour the facility tomorrow Saturday, April 13.

The Open Day at Newport Catchment Facility on Sunday offers an opportunity for visitors to view the facilities in the Burrishoole Valley and learn more about the research taking place at the site. A range of cutting edge research is undertaken at the Newport Catchment Facility, including genetics work across several species of salmon, sea bass, pollock and bluefin tuna, as well as research on catchment ecosystems events, climate change, oceanography and aquaculture.

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute said: “We welcome visitors to our Newport facility to see the work that is being undertaken by scientists and post-doctoral students, that not only contributes to national research, but also has international relevance. Our open day is also an opportunity to engage the public and increase awareness of the value and opportunities of our marine resource, a goal of Ireland’s marine plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to speak with researchers, scientists and staff at the Newport facility. A number of PhD candidates will also be available to talk to students about their subject choices and potential careers in the marine sector.

View fish species up-close in the aquarium displays, learn how to read a salmon scale and look through microscopes to see freshwater invertebrates. There will also be the chance to visit the manual weather station and see the instruments used to collect daily data for Met Éireann.

Children will get the chance to touch some fish species that were captured during fisheries surveys on the RV Celtic Explorer and can also learn about Ireland’s national seabed mapping programme with the INFOMAR Augmented Reality Sandbox.

The Marine Institute’s Newport Catchment Facility forms one of the greatest natural laboratories for studying migratory fish in Europe. In operation since 1955, it includes laboratories, a freshwater hatchery, fish rearing facilities, fish census trapping stations, a salmonid angling fishery and a monitored freshwater lake and river catchment. For more information on the Marine Institute’s Newport Catchment Facility visit www.marine.ie

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