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Marine Protected Areas
E-zine: Autumn 2019
This quarterly e-zine updates you on three projects that explore how to manage and monitor Marine Protected Areas around Ireland, Northern Ireland and Western Scotland: MarPAMM, COMPASS and SeaMonitor are supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
Follow us on Twitter: @SeaMonitor1, @Compass_MPA & @MarPAMM_project
SeaMonitor News SeaMonitor Logo
SeaMonitor Saff
SeaMonitor welcomes new staff to the project
Recruitment is well underway across the partnership. With the project manager and administration team already in place, the Loughs Agency along with Queens University Belfast and University of Glasgow have welcomed new scientific staff to the project. There are more posts being advertised, so be sure check out the recruitment/vacancy pages of partners’ respective websites for more information.
About us
Foyle salmon conference a success
On the 25th of September 2019, The Loughs Agency, in partnership with the Foyle Association of Salmon and Trout Anglers (FASTA), hosted a conference entitled “Our Foyle Salmon – The Upstream Battle” at the Mellon Country Inn, County Tyrone. Over 150 local anglers attended to listen to guest speakers from IFI, Atlantic Salmon Trust, AFBI and the Agency. SeaMonitor’s own Ross McGill and Diego del Villar gave an introduction and overview of the project.
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Foyle Salmon Conference
MarPAMM News MarPAMM Logo
Sea bed Survey
Surveying the seabed off Gigha and Kintyre in Argyll
Video surveys of 124 seabed stations around the island of Gigha revealed thriving communities of horse mussel beds, northern seafans and habitats such as burrowed mud with seapens, sponge communities and an abundance of soft corals. The survey team discovered and mapped the distribution of not just one or two but three previously unknown maerl beds while pods of pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins accompanied them. Read Amie Williams’ blog of a magical 5-day survey trip
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Marine mammals data collection in full swing
To help us map where marine mammals occur in the waters around western Scotland and Northern Ireland, our marine mammals team deployed data loggers on the seabed that record underwater sounds. They are now preparing to recover the sound recorders in late October after four months of autonomous data collection. First results will be shared at the MarPAMM 2019 meeting.
Marine mammals data collection in full swing
MarPAMM goes to school
MarPAMM goes to school
MarPAMM engaged Gleed3D to create a live-size anatomic model of a flapper skate, one of the critically endangered species protected by MPAs and a target species of our project. ‘Flappi’ is now touring schools, starting at Knockevin Special School in Downpatrick and Sacred Heart Primary School in Dundrum. If you’d like to arrange for a visit from Flappi please contact
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COMPASS launches new website
COMPASS launches new website
The COMPASS project has created and launched a replacement website to improve the browsing experience. It will feature an increasing amount of updated content such as the latest work from articles on building new instrumented buoys, videos showing how we are tracking sea trout and salmon smolts, autonomous underwater vehicles studying cetacean vocalisations to interactive elements showing live location updates to all the partner research vessels. Visit to see ongoing work on the COMPASS project at the new site, which still remains at the same location:
Visit Website
The robot that listens to whales
Dr Denise Risch, leader of the COMPASS Marine Mammals work package, is featured in a video launching a new autonomous underwater vehicle (UAV), built by the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS). This vehicle, an ocean glider, will travel a pre-programmed route from the coast of Scotland to the NW of Ireland and back again to record the sounds of the different species of marine mammals to monitor population sizes. The glider is a technology which will allow COMPASS scientists to monitor underwater noise in areas that would otherwise be difficult to access.
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The Robot that listens to whales
Building a new buoy
Building a new buoy
COMPASS employs people with a wide range of backgrounds and skills. This is particularly well illustrated in the Oceanography work package. The main aim of this area is to incorporate new tech into an already existing network of monitoring buoys. To do this, COMPASS marine scientists and engineers have been working to design custom-made tools to be integrated with other instruments.
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Upcoming Event
Meet MarPAMM in Edinburgh - 21 November

The MarPAMM project is holding its first project-wide stakeholder meeting since its launch on 21 November 11am-4pm in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, hosted by Marine Scotland Science. Please join us if you would like to find out about the project and to discuss the challenges of developing, managing and monitoring effective Marine Protected Areas in Scotland, Northern Ireland and/or the Republic of Ireland. Please email our project office to express interest:

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