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The Marine Institute and IMERC have been presented with the International Maritime Partner award by the Maritime Alliance. The Irish marine science organisation received their award from San Diego-based non-profit industry association The Maritime Alliance (TMA) at the annual Blue Tech & Blue Economy Summit in San Diego (Wednesday 9th November).

The Marine Institute and IMERC were selected for this international award for their work in developing Ireland's marine technology cluster. The Entrepreneur Ship was recently launched as part of the IMERC cluster at their campus in Cork, providing space for companies in areas such as robotics, big data, biotechnology, power generation, cyber security, unmanned systems and power storage as they relate to our ocean and energy systems. The Marine Institute's National Marine Technology Programme and associated SmartOcean initiative promotes the development of high value products and services by creating a critical mass of research and development activities in marine information, communication and technology by developing a marine technology innovation cluster.

In addition to receiving the Award, Dr Edel O'Connor of the Marine Institute gave a keynote address on Ireland's national ocean economy strategy at the Blue Tech and Blue Economy Summit. This five day event brings together over 400 professionals, investors, educators, and government officials to collaborate on issues, engage in key topics and develop partnerships that promote BlueTech blue jobs.

Speaking about the award, Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute said:

"Ireland has been gaining a reputation in Europe, and internationally for its marine research and innovation, and for driving collaboration in this area. This award by the Maritime Alliance shows the high regard for the work we are doing in Ireland with our colleagues at IMERC to bring together marine innovators and create an environment that promotes collaboration to develop BlueTech solutions for a global market."

The award by the Maritime Alliance is the second award the Marine Institute has received for international collaboration in recent months. The Atlantic Project Award for International Cooperation was presented to Dr. Heffernan and Dr. Margaret Rae, Marine Institute for the Horizon 2020 funded Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination and Support Action (AORA-CSA). Strategy, innovation, implementation, results and relevance to the Atlantic Strategy all formed part of the award criteria. Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries presented the award at the Atlantic Stakeholders Conference, Dublin, 7 September 16.

The Marine Institute is the lead partner in the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination and Support Action project to implement the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean research cooperation. This initiative aims to promote better collaboration on research activities and sharing of marine data and ocean observation infrastructure and has already delivered results, particularly in Atlantic Ocean mapping, including the mapping of ocean transects between St. John's Newfoundland and Galway on Ireland's national research Vessel, Celtic Explorer in June last year and May this year.

Published in Marine Science
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An all-day Belfast–based conference this month entitled 'Our Maritime Heritage: Research, Resources and Restoration' is taking place at Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). The first 65 delegates to register here will receive a complimentary lunch. A keynote speaker is Afloat.ie correspondent Marcus Connaughton, the RTE presenter of Seascapes that is podcasted weekly on Afloat.ie.

The conference Thursday 20 October 2016 beginning at 9.30 am and running to 6.00 pm.

The conference explores national, local and individual responses to how we protect our maritime heritage.

This joint conference has been organised by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), Titanic Foundation Limited, HMS Caroline, National Historic Ships UK, Gerry Brennan (Silvery Light Sailing) and Robin Masefield (author).

The conference explores national, local and individual responses to how we protect our maritime heritage.

Conference at PRONI: 9.30 am-4.15 pm
The conference will commence with a keynote address by Marcus Connaughton, presenter of RTÉ Radio 1’s maritime programme ‘Seascapes’, and Hannah Cunliffe, National Historic Ships UK. Speakers include Gerry Brennan on the Silvery Light project; Christopher Kenny on the schooner Result; Sean Patterson on the Newry Canal and Fishers’ Fleet, Kerrie Sweeney on the development and restoration work on the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices; Dr Sally Montgomery on the history of Mew Island Lighthouse Optic and its restoration; and Desmond McCabe on maritime research in PRONI archives. Other topics will include the restoration of HMS Caroline, and obtaining project funding. The conference will conclude with an open panel discussion.

Lunch: SS Nomadic
Lunch will be provided on SS Nomadic for the first 65 delegates to register. Remaining delegates will be invited to make their own lunch arrangements.

HMS Caroline visit: 4.15 pm – 6.00 pm
Conclude the day with a visit to HMS Caroline (maximum 80 delegates).

You can see a link for the this event on Afloat's Marine marketplace here

Published in Historic Boats
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Maritime tourism operators featured at the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards announced at a ceremony yesterday in Dublin.

In the best for Natural Heritage Tourism category, a silver award went to Sea Synergy Marine Awareness & Activity Centre (Co. Kerry). The marine interpretive centre located in the heart of the coastal village Waterville displays interactive displays on Ireland's marine life, such as turtles, sharks, swordfish, bones from whales and dolphins.

In the best Innovation in Responsible Tourism, the Great Lighthouses of Ireland was another Silver award winner. The tourism initiative, is a new all-island tourism initiative, developed by the Commissioners of Irish Lights and features twelve lighthouses in breathtaking coastal locations. The project offers visitors from home and abroad the chance to visit or stay in a lighthouse, to find out about their history, to appreciate the spectacular natural world around them.

The awards are a response to demand from the Irish trade for a new type of awards showcasing the best in Irish responsible tourism. The 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards aim to inspire replication, to excite media interest, to encourage competition and celebration from across the tourism industry on the island of Ireland.

The Irish Responsible Tourism Awards are part of a growing family of worldwide responsible tourism awards which are all linked to the World Responsible Tourism Awards, founded by responsibletravel.com. Winners of each of the categories will be longlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards - a great opportunity for the Irish trade to raise international awareness.

The shortlist for the awards, which attracted entries from almost every county in Ireland, was announced in early September following assessment by a panel of industry experts chaired by international responsible tourism expert Professor Harold Goodwin. The award categories and the winners of the Silver & Gold awards are:

Best for Natural Heritage Tourism
· GOLD: Doolin Cave (Co. Clare)

· SILVER: Burren Nature Sanctuary (Co. Galway)

· SILVER: Sea Synergy Marine Awareness & Activity Centre (Co. Kerry)

Best for Accessible & Inclusive Tourism
· GOLD: Gleneagle Hotel Group (Co. Kerry)

· SILVER: Mobility Mojo

Best Local Authority Initiative for Responsible Tourism
· GOLD: Lough Muckno - Monaghan County Council

· SILVER: Westport Smarter Travel Bike Buffet - Mayo County Council

Best Tourism Accommodation for Local Sourcing
· GOLD (joint): Sea View House (Co. Clare) and Fuchsia Lane Farm Holiday Cottages (Co. Tipperary)

· SILVER: Hotel Doolin (Co. Clare)

Best Destination for Responsible Tourism
· GOLD: Mulranny (Co. Mayo)

· SILVER: Inishbofin Island (Co. Galway)

· SILVER: Sheep’s Head Way (Co. Cork)

Best Innovation in Responsible Tourism
· GOLD: The Blackfriary Community Heritage and Archaeology Project (Co. Meath)

· SILVER: Great Lighthouses of Ireland

Overall Winner: Mulranny (Co. Mayo)

Judges for the awards include:

Catherine Mack (responsibletravel.com)
Kevin Griffin (DIT tourism lecturer and former-EDEN awards judge)
Paddy Mathews (Fáilte Ireland)
Annabel Fitzgerald (Irish Water & formerly Coastal Programmes Manager An Taisce)
Mark Henry (Central Marketing Director, Tourism Ireland)
Cyril McAree (Managing Director, Hotel & Restaurant Times)

Fáilte Ireland’s Head Investment & Innovation, Paddy Matthews said, “A more environmentally conscious and community-centred approach to developing tourism in Ireland is becoming more and more mainstream... and so it should. It results in more genuine and authentic experiences for all our visitors.”

The awards took place at the 3nd Irish Responsible Tourism Conference organised by the Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism. The Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism was established in 2013 to promote responsible tourism on the island of Ireland

Published in Aquatic Tourism
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Get ready for a carnival of maritime culture at this year’s Cork Harbour Festival, 4th-12th of June. Now in its second year, the festival presents a fresh perspective on everything the Harbour has to offer through a programme of over 50 unique and fun-filled events.

The festival begins with the Ocean to City – An Rás Mór on Saturday June 4th. This year marks the 12th edition of this iconic race, which sees over 150 hardy crews take to the water for the gruelling 28km route from Roche’s Point to Cork’s city centre. As a premier event in Irish and international rowing, the Ocean to City attracts crews from all over Europe. The race features over 30 different types of craft, from traditional Irish currachs, to Chinese dragon boats and stand-up paddle boards! Spectators can soak up the colour and festivities in many places along the race route, including Cobh, Monkstown, Passage West and Blackrock. Follow the race route by bike with the Harbour Pedal, bring a picnic to Passage, or enjoy thrilling acrobatics from Funky Fidelma and street performers at the finish line. Mingle with the many crews and treat yourself to a range of foodie delights at the festival market.

Cork Harbour Open Day on June 5th offers kayaking, surfing and coasteering tasters in East Cork, family adventure in Spike Island, crab fishing fun in Cobh, and historical re-enactments at Camden Fort Meagher. Turn a weekend stroll into a bird watching walk, get behind the scenes of the Irish Navy with a naval ship tour, or discover the work of ocean energy researchers at the MaREI Centre, Ringaskiddy.

Festival week continues to push the boat out, with event highlights including:
· Rocket Man’s Paddling Pantry: Jack Crotty a.k.a. The Rocket Man mixes his love of good food and fresh flavours with a kayaking adventure. Circumnavigate the city channels and enjoy Cork’s built heritage while being treated to a tasty lunch!

· River Runner and Green Drinks: The Opera House plays host to this moving documentary portrait of the River Lee from source to sea. The film uncovers the secrets of its oldest inhabitant, the Wild Atlantic Salmon, and the river’s unique forest delta, known locally as the Gearagh. The film is followed by Cork Environmental Forum’s ‘Green Drinks’, a chance to meet and chat with local and national environmental organisations.

· Morgenster Tall Ship: Visit the Dutch sail training ship ‘Morgenster’ during her stay in the city. The Morgenster will be docked in Cork on June 11th and Cobh June 12th.

· Lunchtime Lectures: The festival teams up with UCC’s History Department to bring an engaging series of mid-day lectures at St. Peter’s Church. Learn about the history of the Bordeaux wine trade with Ireland, the Hapsburg’s visit to Ireland in 1518, and the story of the Royal Navy during the 1916 Rising.

· Festival Cruise: Enjoy a summer’s evening cruise through Cork Harbour before mooring up for a tasty meal in Crosshaven

· Boats and Bites: The festival’s midweek celebration of boats and the freshest bites will include a seafood market and free taster sessions aboard a currach, dragon boat, powerboat and more!

· Night-time Kayak: A unique opportunity to paddle the city by night and explore Cork from a whole new angle.

· SUPing in the City: Dip your toes in with kayaking and Stand-Up Paddle Boarding taster sessions at the Lee Fields in Cork City.

Cork Harbour Festival aims to bridge the distance from city to sea through a programme that encourages people to discover the region. Festival Director Donagh MacArtain says, “The festival highlights the importance of the River Lee and Cork Harbour as a natural and cultural resource, and celebrates the communities and organisations at the heart of it. This year’s programme has something for everyone, whether you like to get active and get outdoors, are a regular or first time ‘boatie’, want fresh ways to enjoy some fun with the family, or want to soak up the harbour’s history and folklore.’’
Cork Harbour Festival is organised by Meitheal Mara, the community boatyard, training centre and charity located in the heart of Cork City. The Festival is sponsored by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork, Failte Ireland and MaREI, and made possible with the help of dozens of Event Partners and hundreds of volunteers.

Published in Cork Harbour

At the 2016 Irish Logistics and Transport Award ceremony, the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) were, for the third year in succession, recognised for their excellence in educational programmes, and were awarded the prestigious Education award for their Bachelor of Business degree in Supply Chain Management. This annual gala event in Dublin, attended by over five hundred delegate representatives from the supply chain and logistics management sector, gathered to celebrate the best of what their industry has to offer. Jane O’Keeffe, course director of Supply Chain, proudly collected the award on behalf of the NMCI.

NMCI is a constituent college of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and focuses on both maritime and non-maritime industry sectors, and offers customised education and training programmes to meet individual requirements. The Bachelor of Business in Supply Chain Management degree programme is designed to support industry requirements, and for those with experience in logistics and supply chain management, who wish to further their career prospects.
This unique programme, in its ninth year, builds upon the students’ experiential knowledge and provides grounding in a wide and diverse range of disciplines. To date graduates have experienced excellent employment and career progression opportunities in both indigenous and multi-national organisations. The programme has been so successful within the logistics and supply chain industry nationally, that it is proposed to incorporate modules in logistics and supply chain into the bachelor degrees in Nautical Science, Marine Engineering and Marine Electro-technology at the NMCI. This is in keeping with the current best practice throughout the Maritime colleges in Europe and globally. Currently the Supply Chain degree programme is being developed as Level 8 offering through the CAO system.

The Government Future Skills Needs publication in 2015 highlighted Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics (FTDL) sector in Ireland as a significant growth area for the period 2015-2020, and programmes such as those on offer at the NMCI are currently seen to address the opportunities highlighted at middle management level within the sector. A review of the skills gap in Ireland concurred with international best practice in identifying common skills development and talent attraction issues. The NMCI is appropriately positioned to support logistics and supply chain education and job creation, as in excess of 90% of global trade by volume is transported by sea. This is an indication of the importance of logistics to the maritime industry and of even greater importance to Ireland where 98% of trade by volume comes through its seaports. The NMCI facility, which embraces advanced technologies including simulation in its programmes, is ready to meet the growing demand in best in class logistics and supply chain education and training.

Published in Jobs

Maritime spatial planning for Ireland takes a step closer this year thanks to an EU directive first adopted in 2014. The directive obliges all coastal Member States to establish maritime spatial plans by 2021. Member States, including Ireland, must transpose the Directive into national law by 18th September 2016. The Goverment is seeking submissions but the deadline is less than a month away.

Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is a new way of looking at how we use the marine area and planning how best to use it into the future. Marine industry activists have long argued the lack of ability to licence the oceans that surround us has been the biggest obstable to developing the 'blue economy' for Ireland.

MSP will try to balance the different demands for using the sea including the need to protect the marine environment. It's about planning when and where human activities take place at sea. It’s about ensuring these activities are as efficient and sustainable as possible. Maritime spatial planning involves stakeholders in a transparent way in the planning of maritime activities. 

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has drafted regulations intended for Irish law and it is inviting submissions on the draft regulations. To assist the Dept has prepared a guidance document showing the relationship between the articles of the Directive and the regulations. More details here

The closing date for submissions is 5.30pm on Friday, 6 May 2016

Draft regulations are attached below

Meanwhile, the sixth conference of the MSP stakeholder series, focusing on MSP Worldwide has been postponed. The conference is now confirmed to be held on 23 - 24 June 2016 at the University of the Azores, Ponta Delgada, Azores.

According to the organisers, the conference will present experiences, opportunities and challenges of MSP implementation around the world. In particular it will look at how MSP can advance Blue Growth world-wide, its potential to promote climate change solutions, as well as at the role of area-based management regimes in international waters. The main purpose is to take stock of what is being done at international level and identify potential synergies as well as possible contributions from European MSP processes.

Published in News Update
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I love Irish history. It is the story of the Irish people, living in an island nation. But I have always wondered about a maritime, a shipping aspect of the Easter Rising, the commemoration of which has raised the profile of our evolution as an independent country. And that is – would it actually have been possible for the AUD, the German ship with weapons and ammunition for the Irish Volunteers, by arrangement with Roger Casement, to have landed its cargo in Tralee Bay, which is the accepted historical conception of that part of the plans for the Rising.
I have always wondered about the challenge and difficulties of getting 20,000 rifles, 10 machine guns and 3.5 million rounds of ammunition off that ship in the conditions and shipping facilities of Tralee Bay and the probably only realistic landing site at Fenit in 1916.
Was it to have been done at Fenit? In the facilities there for unloading in 1916 would that actually have been possible? Was it thought that the cargo might be got off into open boats in the Bay?
I got my opportunity to ask that question of an expert on the period last weekend, Dr. John Treacy, who was recently awarded his Ph.D. from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick for his doctoral thesis about the Naval Service.
He answered me very directly: “I would say absolutely not.”
He had a lot more to say about the AUD and the plan for it to provide weaponry for the Volunteers when I interviewed him at a seminar which underlined the huge public interest in Irish maritime affairs. “Revolution on an Island -The Maritime Aspects of the 1916 Rebellion,” was organised by the Irish Maritime Forum. It was booked out. People attended from all over the country. There was even a waiting list for places at the National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy on the edge of Cork Harbour where it was held.
Dr. Treacy spoke on ‘The Silent Shore – The Attempt to land arms at Banna Strand from the AUD.” It is a fascinating part of Irish history and the maritime involvement. If you have any interest at all in our history, I urge you to listen to him below on my programme, THIS ISLAND NATION.
It was also an unusual experience for me at that seminar to find myself being quoted at the outset. It was for my description of Ireland as an “island nation” which is accepted by the Forum, which is an independent think-tank on maritime matters. But the Forum had a qualification – “Ireland is not yet a maritime nation”
You can hear more about this from retired Naval officer, Capt. James Robinson, who discusses it with me on behalf of the Forum. Not a lot has been heard about the Forum in public, but this seminar was a revelation.
Simon McGibney, the new Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association, talks to me about his plans for this year’s sailing and the retirement of one of the country’s longest-serving lifeboatmen, from the RNLI Rosslare Station, is reported while there is also good advice on the programme about using vehicles to launch and recover boats from slipways in view of the Buncrana tragedy.
THIS ISLAND NATION reports on the marine traditions, culture, history and modern maritime developments of our island nation. I hope you enjoy it and would welcome your comments. You can Email to: [email protected]

Published in Island Nation

Ireland is an island nation but not yet a maritime nation. So said Capt. James Robinson of the Irish Maritime Forum and formerly of the Irish Naval Service when opening the Forum's conference at the National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour, this morning. Attendance at the one-day conference 'Maritime Aspects of the 1916 Rebellion' has been fully booked-out. It is examining the influence of sea power on the rebellion, including the Aud and the Helga. People are attending from all over the country.

Published in News Update
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Anyone aged between 16 and 28 who would like to sail aboard a Tall Ship is being offered the opportunity by Belfast City Council and Sail Training Ireland. As Afloat.ie previously reported, The Tall Ships, “Maybe” and “Morgenster” are the vessels on which voyages between Belfast, Scottish and Irish ports, will be available, as part of Belfast’s Maritime Festival. Applications are invited with a deadline of Friday, March 25.

Published in Tall Ships

Following the success of last year’s inaugural maritime conference at UCC, the School of History is to hold the second annual Irish Maritime History Conference next weekend, October 16/17, exploring Ireland’s rich sea-going past and culture. Topics will include piracy, naval warfare, smuggling, fishing communities, shipwrecks, boat building and World War One on the Irish Sea.

There is a strong line-up of speakers from around the country and overseas, making for what should be a most interesting event.

Sessions will be from 1-3 pm on Friday, October 16, another from 3-7 pm and a full day on Saturday from 9-6 pm. Admission is free and no registration is required. Based on last year,.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Page 2 of 9

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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