The Irish Regions Stakeholder Steering Group met on the 17th May. The newly appointed Chair of the group, Kevin Quigley from Northern Ireland Fisheries Harbour Authority opened the meeting.

The group welcomed an engaging presentation on the MarPAMM Benthic Works Package from Project Co ordinator Alex Calloway. Alex gave an overview of modelling and predicting with reference to reefs, sandeels and skate distribution. The presentation communicated the successes and challenges of predicting.

Alex also focused on the technologies currently being used: Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV); Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV); Scanning laser/Multi beam; and Image analysis techniques.

A lively discussion followed with each member of the group participating with probing questions and useful new links.

The second half of the meeting was focused on agreeing the objectives of the MPA which will then be presented in infographic form.

In other news, an AUV cruise studied Strangford Lough’s seabed gathering 13 squared km data. The team worked from DEARA’s boat, The Queen of Ulster. As you can see from the photographs, the cruise was extremely successful thanks to good weather conditions.