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Marine based tourism and leisure a billion Euro industry in Ireland.

The 2019 Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth Summit was another highly successful gathering and illustrates again the extent to which the government supports the marine sector.

Key note speakers at the summit included the Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, Ministers Michael Creed and Damien English, as well as the former US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

The most prominent themes this year included the environment, sustainable fisheries and emerging technologies. A big shift from the focus on Oil and Gas that featured so heavily in previous sessions.

Integral to the government strategy is the National Marine Planning Framework on which the IMF gives advice and support to the Ministerial committee.

Also launched during the summit was the latest economic report entitled ‘Ireland’s Ocean Economy’. Of interest here is the marine tourism and leisure sector, truly the sleeping giant of the marine sector. According to the report, compiled by Semru, the social-economic marine research unit, the marine tourism and leisure sector has an annual turnover in excess of €1bn and employees almost 16,000 people.

The Irish Marine Federation is a key player in this sector and was at the summit to ensure that the voice of its members is being represented and heard. We will continue to work with the various State bodies involved in the marine sector and ensure that proper recognition and support is giving to our thriving coastal communities and businesses.

Irish Marine Federation Stand Opens At London Boat Show

The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) is promoting a necklace of over 60 Irish coastal marinas and pontoons as a central theme of its London Boat Show promotion that opens at ExCeL in London’s Docklands this morning.

The IMF is supporting the Irish Marina Operators Association (IMOA) who are keen to attract more visiting UK boats to Ireland this Summer. Eight Irish marinas have made the ‘voyage’ to London to promote their coastal facilities to the estimated 100,000 UK boating enthusiasts that will visit the international show over the next ten days. Marinas from Eight Irish Counties are represented on the stand including Dublin marinas at Dun Laoghaire and Malahide and Cork Harbour Marinas at Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven along with Greystones marina in Couty Wicklow, Carlingford marina in County Louth and Kilrush Marina in County Clare, Kimore Quay in Wexford and Fenit in County Kerry are among Irish marina representatives manning the Irish stand. ‘The aim is to assist UK visitors planning a trip across the Irish sea this Summer to enjoy the full benefits of the Irish coast’ says IMF Board Member Gerry Salmon of MGM Boats who has co–ordinated the Irish stand and hopes it will be the start of a regular appearance for Ireland at the International exhibition.

Members and non-members are most welcome to call by the stand F046, conveniently located near the Guinness stand.

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Irish Marine Federation Attend At Buoyant Southampton Boat Show 2015

David O'Brien (left) Chairman of the Irish Marine Federation, Howard Pridding, Chief Executive of the British Marine Federation (centre) and Mats Eriksson of Sweboat in Sweden.

Did Southampton Boat Show 2015 that ended at the weekend mark the end of the recession for the Irish Marine trade? That depends on who you talk to but if numbers are any evidence to go by there was plenty more Irish faces among the 110,000 that enjoyed a taste of Britain’s biggest boating festival.

Irish show-goers made good use of the Flybe connections from Dublin and the sprinkling of Irish marine firms among the 500 exhibitors gave a great sense of pre-recessionary times.

Mid–week wet weather may have dragged down attendance numbers but it failed to dampen the mood at this year’s Show.

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2015 Irish Maritime Forum at NMCI

The 2015 Irish Maritime Forum will take place at the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) in Ringaskiddy on Friday, September 25th, and will be officially opened by the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD. The forum will look at the ocean of opportunities that exist within the sector and concentrate on the key drivers that are set to change the sector in the future.

“The themes of this year’s conference, “Success through Synergy – an Innovation & Dynamic approach to the future” is something that goes to the very core of the NMCI’s business model” says Conor Mowlds, Head of College at the NMCI “Our growth and success over the last years, both here and abroad, has been based on working closely with business partners, clients, and stakeholders, to determine what the market needs and responding to it effectively. In its very essence, supporting the College the country wants, by providing the College the country needs.”

The 2015 Irish Maritime Forum is aimed at both organisations and professionals operating within the broad maritime industry in Ireland. It will begin with an overview of the industry by Fergal O’Brien (IBEC) and Liam Lacey (Director of the IMDO) and will also feature a Maritime Skills Panel Discussion which will discuss the need for skilled personnel within the maritime sector. Cpt. Paul O’Regan, Harbour Master for the Port of Cork, will present “Irish Ports – Gateways for sustainable logistic growth … or potential bottlenecks” and Cpt. Kevin Richardson, AFNI, will discuss the critical role of the harbour master in a successful port business. Other highlights include Jane O’Keeffe, Logistics & Supply Chain course coordinator at NMCI, discussing issues facing the extended maritime sector in respect of, and adaptation to, climate change.

The 2015 Irish Maritime Forum, “Success through Synergy – an Innovative & Dynamic approach to the future” will provide maritime professionals with an opportunity to gain insight into the current industry obstacles and future industry plans. Attendees will have an opportunity to question key industry leaders on their plans and how they approach obstacles they are faced with. The Forum will also highlight key areas where synergies need to be developed in order to put Ireland at the forefront of the Maritime Sector, worldwide. or 00 353 21 433 5736 for further information

Irish Marine Federation Contributes to New Marine Spatial Planning

The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) recently met with consultants working towards Ireland’s new marine spatial plan. The EU requires all Member States to develop marine spatial plans by 2021. The current process is examining how best to develop the plan in Ireland. While formulation of the plans themselves will take place in the coming years, the IMF was delighted to be involved at this early stage of the process. A wide range of topics was discussed with the consultants including the need to protect and enhance Ireland’s marine leisure facilities which should not be compromised by other economic activities such as off-shore wind farms and fish farming. Other priorities include water safety, education and training and navigation. It is essential that Ireland’s future marine spatial plans make a positive contribution to the development of marine leisure in Ireland as our coastal waters are an under utilised leisure and tourism resource . Further information on the current process is available here

Maritime Area and Foreshore (Amendment) Bill

The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) has given a cautious welcome to the forecasted changes to the foreshore bill designed to streamline the development consent process for the foreshore.

The government has published its Legislation Programme for Spring/Summer 2015 and the Maritime Area and Foreshore (Amendment) Bill is among a list of key Bills of interest which currently before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

The Bill will streamline the development consent process for the foreshore, including the integration of certain parts of the foreshore consent process (under the Foreshore Act 1933) with the existing on-land planning system.

The IMF has long held out that the failure to manage Ireland’s natural resources “in a consistent or coherent manner” has led to serious setbacks in the support of marine tourism on the island.