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Marine Jobs Boost as Irish MEP Pushes Growth of EU Maritime Sector

23rd April 2013
Marine Jobs Boost as Irish MEP Pushes Growth of EU Maritime Sector

#marine – MEPs voted to back Sean Kelly's proposals on the future growth of the EU's maritime sector, by an overwhelming 42-1 in favour, in a show of cross-party political support, in the European Parliament today (Tuesday).

"There is huge potential for the economic development of Ireland and Europe's marine resources which would directly benefit our coastal regions and spin-off industries," Mr Kelly commented after his opinion on the EU's Blue Growth strategy was adopted by the Committee on Regional Development.

The Ireland South MEP pointed to Foynes Port, Limerick in his own constituency as an example of future growth potential. "Blue Growth is about encouraging the development of more environmentally-friendly technologies and implementing them such as offshore wind and tidal energy resources. The innovation demonstrated by companies like Kerry-based Shannon LNG should be the inspiration here."

"Future policy must take a very regional approach in order to ensure our coastal communities have the opportunity to create new business and employment opportunities around their marine resources," Mr Kelly continued.

Today, MEPs voted with cross-party political consensus in endorsing Mr Kelly's call to drive a more balanced, integrated regional development approach to Europe's maritime strategy.

"We need a more inclusive strategy that will harness the potential of all regional ports and coastal hubs in order to create jobs, encourage technological development and innovation while also protecting biodiversity.

"For a truly effective strategy, the EU needs to support local communities and entrepreneurs with funding. However, financing options must be provided on a regional basis so all coastal areas have the chance to access financial support.

"I want to see direct supports for the development of aquaculture and blue biotech industries.

"I have stipulated funding must be available under EU programmes such as the European Regional Development Fund, Horizon 2020, the programme for the competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs (COSME), and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)."

Mr Kelly also endorsed regional and cross-border maritime clusters and welcomed initiatives at Member State and regional level, such as Ireland's INFOMAR programme while stressing the need for policy coherence.

The opinion by Mr Kelly, as approved by MEPs, will now be forwarded to the European Commission for consideration.

Published in Marine Science
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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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