Posted by: Dr. Breffni Lennon | July 31, 2012

New government plan launched today: “Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth: An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland”

Today, 31 July 2012 , the Irish government launched its latest policy document for developing Ireland’s marine economy to 2030 at the Marine Institute, Galway. The report, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth: An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland, maps out how the country’s food, tourism and energy resources (both conventional and renewable) will be utilised over the coming years to:

• Double the value of Ireland’s ocean wealth to 2.4% of GDP by 2030, and to
• Increase the turnover from our ocean economy to over €6.4bn by 2020.

As the report suggests: “taking our seabed area into account, Ireland is one of the largest EU states; with sovereign or exclusive rights over one of the largest sea to land ratios (over 10:1) of any EU State. Our coastline of 7,500km is longer than that of many European countries. Yet we see the land as the primary provider of our food and fuel, and often overlook our ocean wealth. Our ocean is a national asset, supporting a diverse economy, with vast potential to tap into the global marine market for seafood, tourism, energy, and new applications for health, medicine and technology. In parallel, our marine resource gives us many non-commercial benefits; for example, amenity, biodiversity and our mild climate. The Government is determined to ensure that our ocean wealth will be a key component of our economic recovery and sustainable growth, generating benefits for all our citizens” (Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, 2012). The following key objectives are also to be strived for:

Goal 1 focuses on a thriving maritime economy, whereby Ireland harnesses the market opportunities to achieve economic recovery and socially inclusive, sustainable growth.
Goal 2 sets out to achieve healthy ecosystems that provide monetary and non-monetary goods and services (e.g. food, climate, health and well-being).
Goal 3 aims to increase our engagement with the sea. Building on our rich maritime heritage, our goal is to strengthen our maritime identity and increase our awareness of the value (market and nonmarket), opportunities and social benefits of engaging with the sea.

The press release for today’s launch can be accessed here.

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