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Trans-Atlantic Ocean Floor to be Mapped in International Effort


GLOBAL - EU and Canadian officials met in Brussels to announce the first trans-Atlantic sea-floor mapping survey to take place under the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance.

The Irish research vessel, RV Celtic Explorer will undertake a mapping expedition between St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada and Galway in Ireland in June 2015.

Scientists from the Marine Institute, Ireland will be joined by a multi-national team made up of USA, Canadian and European ocean mapping experts.

The voyage is an important step following the agreement reached between countries at Galway in May 2013 to better understand the North Atlantic Ocean.

The countries aim to better understand and predict major Atlantic and Arctic processes, as well as the changes and risks they carry in relation to human activities and climate change.

Ireland's Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, said: “Information from the sea-floor is vital to the sustainable management of the Atlantic as well as to important industries such as fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.

"Ireland has developed a world-leading reputation for sea-bed mapping and is also very committed to the implementation of the Galway Statement and so I am delighted to put at the disposal of the team, Ireland’s state-of the art research vessel - RV Celtic Explorer.”

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “The 'Celtic Explorer's' mission across the north Atlantic will be undertaken by crew from 'both sides of the pond'.

"This embodies the spirit of cooperation that we need in the field of Ocean Governance.

"Their work will help inform the mapping of the European seabed, which is set to be completed by 2020."