Anglesey’s Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Rhun ap Iorwerth has again called for Welsh Government to act to secure the future of the Prince Madog Research Vessel joint-owned at present by Bangor University and P&O Maritime.
An agreement is in place between Bangor University and P&O regarding the future of the vessel until 2021, but what future the Prince Madog has beyond that time is unclear at present, which led to Mr ap Iorwerth proposing the vessel be adopted as Wales’ National Research Vessel following the conclusion of the current agreement.
The Anglesey Assembly Member led a short debate in the Assembly in Cardiff on the future of the research vessel before the summer recess, with Welsh Government officials having recently met with Bangor University and P&O as a result.
Welsh Government officials will now be considering the feasibility of the Prince Madog being used for some future research, however Mr ap Iorwerth said that the vessel should be central to Welsh Government’s plans for marine research.
“In a short debate in the Assembly before the summer, I proposed that Welsh Government secure the future of the Prince Madog by acquiring it to become Wales’ National Research Vessel when Bangor University’s contract with P&O concludes in 2021.
“By doing this, Bangor University, and indeed all universities and marine research bodies in Wales – as well as Welsh Government – would have access to a state-of-the-art vessel with which they could conduct vital research that would be of huge benefit to the future of our nation.
“It is not just a matter of finding benefits to the local area, although that is of course very important to me as the representative for Ynys Môn, but I truly believe that there could be a national benefit to securing the continuation of the Prince Madog Research Vessel.
“With foresight and ambition, Welsh Government could make the Prince Madog central to marine research work off the coast of Wales rather than something that could be used occasionally. Research into what resources we have off our coastline is vital to Wales’ economic and environmental future.”