17th July

Four-part series looks beneath the waves off Ireland

Ireland's Ocean is a major new four-part ocean wildlife series for RTÉ One television beginning Sunday June 22 which explores diverse creatures from dolphins and sharks to plankton and the myriad of tiny colourful creatures that live in offshore and shallow waters around Ireland.

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The seas around Ireland are rich in marine and plant life. Photo George Karbus www.emerald-vision.com

The series looks at the history of man's relationship with and response to the sea, and exams common perceptions of dolphins and sharks:

Are dolphins highly intelligent, sensitive creatures capable of healing sick children? Why are worrying numbers of dolphins washing up dead on our Atlantic coast? Are sharks terrifying animals waiting below the sea surface to eat us?

Read more: Four-part series looks beneath the waves off Ireland

Ireland’s marine resource potential is recognised by government

& Gery Flynn

Government commitment to develop Ireland’s marine resource was underpinned yesterday by the presence of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and four cabinet colleagues at the first annual conference of Our Ocean Wealth -  the integrated marine plan for Ireland.

“Today’s conference is a way of showing that the government is serious about the potential of this sector, and that we’ve decided to take real, strong, clear action,” remarked An Taoiseach Enda Kenny

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An Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking at Our Ocean Wealth conference in Dublin Castle. Photo Gillian Mills

“And we’re saying to people who are thinking about investment to look at this plan, and look at our progress. You can see where our commitment is. Add to that your ideas, your own initiatives, your own propositions because now is the time to get really serious about this.

Read more: Ireland’s marine resource potential is recognised by government

The 'real' map of Inisbofin

Eoin Mac Craith, GSI

In July 2012, the Geological Survey of Ireland vessels RV Keary and RV Geo arrived at Inishbofin, off the coast of Co Galway, with the goal of mapping the underwater terrain surrounding the island. This work took place as part of the INFOMAR seabed mapping programme ― a national project that ultimately aims to map all of Ireland’s inshore waters and offer the data freely available to the public.

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RV Keary is a 15m aluminium catamaran purpose-built for inshore mapping, while RV Geo is a 7.5m RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) used to enter very shallow water adjacent to intertidal areas and to put the finishing edges to INFOMAR’s marine maps.

Read more: The 'real' map of Inisbofin

National marine conference 2014

The first annual review on progress implmentation of the Government's 2012 publication: Harnessing our Ocean Wealth: An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland, takes place in Dublin Castle on June 18 next.

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An Taoiseach Enda Kenny launches Harnessing our Ocean Wealth, July 2012. Photo David Ruffles

The conference will cover four themes and include key speakers and panel discussions:

  • global opportunity for Irish seafood
  • research & innovation and emerging sectors
  • energy - offershore hydrocarbons
  • where land meets the sea - opportunities and challenges for marine tourism

    Read more: National marine conference 2014

Highest level recognition of marine resource potential

Inshore Ireland masthead

When it was launched in July 2012 the Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth strategy was broadly welcomed throughout the maritime community as being a significant achievement by government and a welcome first step on the road to tapping into a global marine market for seafood; tourism; oil and gas; renewable ocean energy, and more, worth €1.2bn.

At the time, and by way of a compliment to the professionalism of those concerned, we described the strategy launch as a ‘master class of meticulous and highly choreographed planning’. Two years later the same praise is justly fitting, following the first HOOW conference.

Read more: Highest level recognition of marine resource potential

Ten years on and ICZM is still somewhere on the distant horizon

Inshore Ireland masthead

A look back ten years to Inshore Ireland’s first lead story sees us bemoaning the lack of an effective, workable national policy for Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Looking deeper into that article, a key finding of a 2004 review of ICZM by the Heritage Council leaps out ― the stark reality that up to 2005 there had been no advances in policy or legislative developments for ICZM since the publication of a draft policy for Ireland in - 1997!

And staying with that first article we also reported that when compared to national case studies of how the policy of coastal management is handled in the UK, Norway, New Zealand and Australia, the Irish way of doing things is characterised by a sectoral approach to resource exploitation.

Read more: Ten years on and ICZM is still somewhere on the distant horizon

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