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Cork Project Scoops National Environmental Accolade Cork

31st October 2018
Minister Sean Canney TD, Louis Duffy, Director of Services, Cork County Council, Katherine Corkery, Circular Ocean, Julie Crowley, Circular Ocean, John O’Regan, Cork County Council, Chris Murphy, DCE from CIWM Minister Sean Canney TD, Louis Duffy, Director of Services, Cork County Council, Katherine Corkery, Circular Ocean, Julie Crowley, Circular Ocean, John O’Regan, Cork County Council, Chris Murphy, DCE from CIWM

Current research estimates approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year, with the Ellen McArthur Foundation citing there is likely to be more plastic than fish in our seas by 2050. The issue of marine plastics is particularly pertinent to Ireland, as an island nation we have a marine area that is ten times the size of its land area above the sea, with the majority of our population living within 50km of the ocean! Marine plastics and more specifically the scourge of lost and discarded fishing gear was the focus of Macroom based project “Circular Ocean”, who were recently awarded the 2018 Pakman Award for achievements in Environmental Education & Awareness.

The Pakman Awards are national awards that recognise excellence in waste management and recycling among businesses, organisations, community groups and initiatives in Ireland.
The awards ceremony took place at the InterContinental Dublin Hotel on Thursday, October 25th and under the watchful eye of MC Caitriona Perry of RTE, saw 400 representatives from leading businesses, organisations and community groups come together to celebrate their positive impacts on our environment. The Circular Ocean team accepted their award from Minister for State for Rural Affairs & National Resources, Seán Canney TD.

Ted O’Leary, Environment Directorate, Cork County Council expressed delight that the great work of the Circular Ocean project team has been recognised with this Pakman Award. “The council very much endorses and supports the aims of the Circular Ocean project. The promotion of a sustainable circular economy in relation to marine waste is an objective very much in keeping with emerging international, EU and national waste management policy. Controlling marine waste is of necessity a priority for Cork which with a coastline of 1,100km is the largest coastal county in the country. Maintaining a pristine marine environment is essential, not just to the economy of Cork, but to the well being of current and future generations. We will look to ensure that the lessons and recommendations of the project are now supported across the many functions of the council.”

Funded under the ERDF Interreg VB Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme, the focus of the Circular Ocean project is to seek opportunities for recovery and reuse of waste Fishing Nets & Rope, with a view to benefiting local economies. The initial concept emerged from Macroom E Enterprise Centre in Cork through SMILE Resource Exchange where members highlighted the significant problem posed by waste fishing nets in Ireland and internationally. Macroom E, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cork County Council, is the sole Irish partner and had responsibility for the Communications activities surrounding the project. Circular Ocean’s communications strategy centred around enlightening coastal communities, industry and policymakers of the potentially detrimental environmental impacts of end of life fishing nets and rope, while inspiring the diversion of waste fishing gear materials from our oceans and landfills for reuse, recycling and new product development. Partners have also investigated the potential applications of end of life fishing nets in areas such as 3D printing and as a replacement for new plastic products the construction sector, as well as providing expert guidance to SME’s on new business opportunities. Learn more at www.circularocean.eu

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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