McCormick recently coordinated a project to test fishing
gear at the Marine Institute for a live audience in Ireland.
by David Sorensen
Memorial University is again proving
that its expertise is available to the world. The latest example
came Friday, July 9, when Irish and Newfoundland fishing gear
was tested in the flume tank of the Marine Institute, and
broadcast using videoconferencing technology to fisheries
training centres in Ireland.
Richard McCormick, marine services manager with the Irish
Sea Fisheries Board (BIM), brought over two scale models of
Irish fishing trawls, which were tested in the flume tank
and viewed live on screen 2,000 miles away in Ireland, supported
by technical commentary to highlight their underwater performance
based on visual observation.
To facilitate this world-first trial, the Marine Institute
rigged up cameras inside and outside the Flume Tank so that
the fishing gear could be viewed from the side and top, with
the additional facility of zooming in on critical areas.
“Everybody on the (Irish) side was extremely impressed
with the quality of the pictures,” said Mr. McCormick
of the three-hour videoconference.
BIM and the Marine Institute planned this project as a logical
extension to a highly successful trans-Atlantic partnership,
which led to the joint development of a unique distance learning
navigation and stability training course specially designed
with inshore fishermen in Ireland and Newfoundland in mind.
This innovative e-learning course, which will be available
to Irish fishermen over the Internet, courtesy of a specialist
distance learning software package situated in Letterkenny
Institute of Technology in Ireland, came to fruition through
the combined expertise of the Marine Institute’s specialist
Learning Technologies Group and BIM, supported by funding
from the Ireland Newfoundland Partnership.
According to Mr. McCormick, BIM and the Marine Institute of
Memorial University intend to build on the outstanding success
of these two projects by co-operating further to develop more
fishing and aquaculture e-learning training courses and also
by intensifying the use of the flume tank’s excellent
facilities and professional staff to improve fisheries conservation
technology on both sides of the North Atlantic.
“The relationship with Memorial will continue,”
he said. “I see no reason why it should not.”