15th October

Wicklow Port Company transfers to local authority

An Order has been signed to transfer Wicklow Port Company to Wicklow County Council. This east coast port is the first of five 'Ports of Regional Significance'  to complete the transfer, identified under the 2013 National Ports Policy. 

Wicklow Port

The Harbours Act 2015 provides the legislative basis for the transfers to proceed. Drogheda, Dún Laoghaire, Galway, New Ross will follow 'to more appropriate local authority led governance structures' a statement reads.

Read more: Wicklow Port Company transfers to local authority

Actions identified to improve ocean governance

A five-month public consultation (June-October 2015) on international ocean governance has identified the need for better implementation and coordination, as well as filling legal gaps and improving ocean knowledge.

Ocean governance

Respondents from Portugal, Malta, USA, Norway, Chile, Spain, France and Ireland agreed that the EU has an important role to play in the global fight against illegal fishing; driving the agenda for a new international legal agreement under the UN to preserve marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, and promoting research cooperation through the 2013 Galway Declaration ― Atlantic Ocean research alliance with the EU and Canada.

Read more: Actions identified to improve ocean governance

Marine 'business as usual' no longer an option, says Coveney

The marine sector could deliver over 29,000 additional jobs and an addditonal €2.7bn in economic growth by 2020. "Ireland is now firmly on what I believe is an unstoppable voyage of marine expansion."

Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, was addressing over 500 delegates at the second annual Harnessing our Ocean Wealth conference at the National Maritime College of Ireland (July 9).

Seafest 2015

Publication in 2012 of Ireland's first 'blueprint' for the marine, which straaddles nine departments on the government's Marine Coordination Group, has begun a peocess of "radical change" in the approach to marine policy. Government commitment to the sector is reinforced by the "first ever review on taxation" to be reflected in the October budget, he added.

Read more: Marine 'business as usual' no longer an option, says Coveney

Cutting edge facility opens in Ireland's maritime quarter

Ireland’s head of government, Enda Kenny, has officially opened the UCC Beaufort Building, in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork. The 4,700m2 five-storey building comprises the latest in wave simulators, test tanks, workshops and offices within a purpose-built infrastructure for renewable energy and maritime research to power Ireland’s ‘blue economy’.

Beaufort opening

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny inspects the Irish Naval guard of honour at the official opening of the UCC Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork 

Speaking at the opening, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that marine R&D was a part of government’s plan to rebuild a “sustainable enterprise-based economy” as the oceans increasingly support more jobs, enterprise and research.

Read more: Cutting edge facility opens in Ireland's maritime quarter

Transfer of five Irish ports to local authority control

Government approval for the Harbours Bill 2015 will see the transfer of control of five 'Ports of Regional Significance' (Drogheda, Dún Laoghaire, Galway, New Ross and Wicklow) to local authority-led goverance strucutures.

The Bill provides the legal basis to allow for a Ministerial Order, and also enhances management procedures of 'Ports of National Significance' namely Cork, Dublin, Shannon Foynes and Waterford. 

Dun Laoghaire June 2015

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, a 'Port of Regional Significance' to be transferred to local authority governance. Photo Gillian Mills

Procedures include new statutory skillsets for directors; requirement for prospective chairpersons to appear before elected representatives to discuss the appointment; statutory requireiment regarding accountability of chairpersons and CEOs, and a maximum ten-year overall term of office for directors. 

Read more: Transfer of five Irish ports to local authority control

'Cool Route' from Cork to Arctic Circle

Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has been awarded a project to develop a maritime tourism route between Cork and Arctic Circle areas of Norway. The Northern Peripheral and Arctic (NPA) Interreg VB Project funds projects that address transnational innovation, enterprise development and entrepreneurship across participating territories of south and west Ireland; Northern Ireland; western and northern Scotland; the Faroe Islands; western Norway, Iceland and Greenland.

Brjánslækur

Brjánslækur Bay on Iceland’s west coast boasts countless islands beyond a hinterland of mountains and glaciers; geothermal pools; rivers and lakes and fertile regions. Photo Ágúst Magnússon

The €1.3m project, Cruising Oceans on Latitudes above 51˚ North – The Cool Route, will research all of the logistical, business, and marketing planning, and support complimentary marine and shore-based tourism initiatives en route.

Read more: 'Cool Route' from Cork to Arctic Circle

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