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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Marine research in funding boost
Aquarium
A new aquarium is being built with some of the money
University chiefs have been given a £2.5m boost for research into marine life and fisheries in the North West.

A host of new facilities are being built at the University of Liverpool, including huge water tanks that will replicate seabed conditions.

The investment means the Port Erin Marine Laboratory on the Isle of Man will close in September as staff and students transfer to Liverpool.

University bosses described the new facilities as "state-of-the-art".

The seawater tanks are part of a mesocosm system - which cultivate fish larvae in controlled conditions - that will allow research into areas such as the impact of cockling on sand flats.

Research funding

The Marine Biology department is also building a new aquarium to house a variety of species including crabs, worms and marine snails.

And a new research vessel has been purchased that will be used to investigate marine ecosystems and fisheries in coastal waters around the UK.

Seven new academic posts will also be created as part of the investment, forming the department's new marine biology research group.

Professor Chris Frid, Head of Marine Biology, said his team was already "world-renowned" and the funding would further boost their reputation.

"The University of Liverpool has a long history of teaching and research in marine biology and this funding will enable us to offer the most advanced teaching programmes and state-of-the-art facilities to our students," he added.

Of the £2.5m investment, £1.5m is research funding provided by the European Commission, government and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).


SEE ALSO
Rise in sightings of marine life
25 Jul 06 |  Isle of Man
Seasonal cockling ban 'permanent'
20 Jun 06 |  Lancashire

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