The Welsh Government and Bangor University are joining forces to help ensure that the seas around Wales are clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse.
Bangor University’s research vessel, the Prince Madog will be used to gather data from the seas around Wales which will assist the Welsh Government to fulfil its marine and fisheries evidence requirements.
Gathering evidence from the seas around Wales is essential in order to maintain good standards in our marine environment. This involves developing appropriate targets, indicators, assessment criteria and monitoring programmes to acquire relevant data.
After Brexit, it is clear that Wales needs to enhance its marine science and data collection capability, and doing this now has become a matter of urgency as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
The new collaboration will help secure the future of the Prince Madog research vessel. Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said: “We want our Welsh seas to be clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse. I am pleased we have been able to collaborate with Bangor University as this will help us meet our marine evidence and data gathering requirements.
“It is particularly timely as we prepare to leave the European Union and start planning and working on key fisheries assessments. It will also help secure the future of the Prince Madog research vessel for future generations.”
Professor David Thomas, Head of Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences said: “There can be no doubt that understanding our marine resources, and their sustainable management, is a massive challenge facing scientists and governments alike.
“The Prince Madog is a wonderful platform to deliver the type of innovative survey work the Welsh Government fisheries team need and we are proud to be working together with them over the next 2 years.”
“Bangor University will provide the equipment a technical expertise, and together with P&O Maritime who operate the vessel with us, we are confident that this will be the start of a much longer term collaboration. The research vessel is a valuable resource for Wales, and I very much hope that this is the beginning of a long term partnership to safeguard our seas for generations to come, and that the Prince Madog will be central to this.”
This collaboration builds on decades of expertise developed in the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University, where research into fish and shellfish management in the Irish Sea, and further afield, has been at the core of much of the work being carried out.
Photo: Left-right aboard Bangor University’s Research Vessel the Prince Madog, are Prof Graham Upton, Interim Vice-Chancellor; Mark Drakeford AM, First Minister; Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Energy and Rural Afairs and Prof David Thomas, Head of the University’s School of Ocean Sciences.