Displaying items by tag: seafest
#SeaFest - Organisers promise “a larger and more spectacular” SeaFest, as Ireland’s national maritime festival expands to include three days of activities and attractions celebrating the sea in Galway from 30 June to 2 July.
Festival chiefs met in Galway City Hall on Thursday 23 March to plan the SeaFest 2017 programme, intending to attract an even bigger number than the 60,000 who attended last summer.
“Galway Harbour will be a hub of activity for three days, featuring even more activities for children, aquatic displays, vessel tours, as well as exhibitions and entertainment,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Heffernan.
“Ireland’s marine infrastructure and resources will be on show, and visitors will also have the opportunity to celebrate our maritime history and discover more about our oceans.
“SeaFest also raises public awareness of the value of our marine resources and the economic benefits our ocean provides to Galway and all of Ireland’s coastal communities.”
Donal Maguire, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) director of aquaculture development Services, said BIM is delighted to be taking part in SeaFest 2017, promising the return of last year’s popular Big Top on the Docks.
“Our Big Top will be a wealth of family friendly fun information on all things relating to Ireland’s fishing, fish farming and overall seafood sectors, from cookery demonstrations to exciting interactive games and puzzles for the kids,” he said.
Naval Service vessel LÉ Niamh was popular with crowds last year, and an even bigger display is planned for SeaFest 2017. World-famous tall ship The Phoenix will again return to Galway Harbour, and visitors will also enjoy tours of Marine Institute vessels the Celtic Explorer and Celtic Voyager.
SeaFest 2017 is supported by BIM, the Department of Defence, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, NUI Galway, Bord Bia Irish Food Board, Port of Galway, Western Development Commission, Galway Chamber, The Village Salthill and Latin Quarter Galway.
Dr Peter Heffernan said collaboration with the festival’s partners is key to SeaFest’s success.
As well as the public festivities, the fourth annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit will be held on 30 June at NUI Galway. National and international delegates will discuss how Ireland is transforming its marine sector through new thinking to achieve economic prosperity and to protect marine resources for the future.
Global and national leaders from across the marine sector are set to convene and collaborate on innovating for our marine future, at this year’s summit, reflecting on innovation for a sustainable marine economy in a landscape of global turbulence and dynamic, disruptive technological, social and political change.
The summit is specifically targeted at national maritime stakeholders, from policy makers, industry representatives, and businesses to Government departments and agencies, NGOs, academics and researchers, and is increasingly attracting international attention.
In addition, the summit — an initiative of the Government's inter-departmental Marine Coordination Group — will review progress to date on Ireland's Integrated Marine Plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.
A full agenda for this year's Our Ocean Wealth Summit will be available in the coming weeks. Outline sessions include:
Session A: Progress on Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth
The objective of this session is to provide a platform whereby tangible progress towards the goals of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, the national maritime plan for Ireland, can be announced.
Session B: The Drive for Innovation
This session is intended to highlight to the audience the global context in which efforts to transform Ireland's marine industry must take place.
Session C: Smarter and Better
This session will examine how Ireland's established economic sectors, such as the food sector, can turn their attention to the sea. The session is designed to highlight that Ireland has key sectors of strength and expertise operating on a global playing field, which if matched to the marine resource, can be drivers for growth.
Session D: The Coastal Economy
This session will move the focus of the summit from the global perspective to one more focused on the Irish economy, using marine tourism and coastal enterprise as a case study to pose the question "How can Ireland innovate in marine tourism and leisure?".
Session E: Our Rapidly Changing Oceans
Designed to bring the summit full circle, this session will reflect on the ways in which innovation is possible and the benefits it can bring. Participants will also consider the overwhelming and urgent imperative to innovate arising from our changing oceans.
A number of related industry, innovation and research events will also take place on Thursday 29 June in advance of the summit, which is an integral part of Ireland's national maritime festival, SeaFest, in Galway from 29 June to 2 July.
Galway based and globally renowned event management specialist Arcana has been appointed to stage SeaFest, Ireland's national maritime festival, this summer. Arcana, which has organised sporting, cultural and commemorative historical events across the globe, has been given the challenge of staging what is fast becoming Europe's most exciting maritime festival. The company has won the contract to mastermind the programme for this year's extended SeaFest activities in the city dockland / waterfront.
Speaking of their appointment Johnny Donnelly, Managing Director of Arcana said: "We are delighted to have been appointed event managers for Seafest in 2017. We are really excited to be working with the various stakeholders and partners, both locally and nationally, on staging Seafest this Summer. At the heart of what we are planning is to make people's heart race with wonder and joy and also to stop people in their thoughts momentarily to reflect on the wonders of the waters that surround and nourish all our lives. Lots of shimmers and great waves lie ahead. We can't wait!"
SeaFest returns to Galway from 30 June to 2 July 2017. Last year more than 60,000 visitors flocked to the festival to enjoy an action packed programme of free family-friendly events at Galway Docks and an international conference at NUIG. The festival featured, among other events, Galway Hookers challenging for The Galway Plate, tours of the tall ship The Phoenix, seafood cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs, interactive exhibitions and tours of the Marine Institute's research vessels.
SeaFest is an annual festival, celebrating all things maritime. An initiative of the inter-departmental Marine Coordination Group, SeaFest supports the goals of Harnessing Our Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland in relation to engaging with the sea.
The Galway Independent has more on the story HERE.
Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan said he was delighted at the public response and at the enthusiasm for Ireland's marine heritage that underpinned the festivities.
"SeaFest is all about is increasing participation and engagement with the sea, showcasing Ireland's abundant maritime resources and celebrating our proud maritime heritage," he said.
"As the crowds in Galway showed, the sea is a fantastic source of fun and entertainment and we were thrilled to see so many people – locals and visitors alike – join in the spirited marine-themed fun."
Dr Heffernan added that the second annual SeaFest, following Cork Harbour's hosting of the inaugural event last summer, was "a hugely ambitious venture and Galway rose to the challenge of providing a fabulous weekend which both informed and entertained."
Among the scene-stealing excitement on the water was the spectacle of the Galway Hookers' challenge for the Galway Plate; the arrival of the gracious tall ship Phoenix; and Frank Bölter sailing his quirky large scale origami paper boat into the harbour in partnership with TULCA for Galway 2020.
On dry land, meanwhile, Bord Iascaigh Mhara and Bord Bia's seafood extravaganza was packed with natural produce and cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs, alongside tours of ocean-going vessels and the Marine Institute's 'Our Wild Atlantic – What Lies Beneath' marquee with its interactive exhibits on marine life and creatures of the deep.
Significantly, SeaFest also brought to the city a major focus on research and the marine economy with a number of marine-related business and research events taking place in the lead-up to the public festivities.
The third annual Our Ocean Wealth Conference allowed speakers and delegates of national and international status to delve more deeply into the theme of 'Innovating for our Marine Future', exploring and strengthening Ireland's maritime heritage, economy and identity.
New Marine Michael Creed also welcomed the success of SeaFest, which ran from Thursday 30 June to Sunday 3 July and played host to 750 conference delegates from Ireland, Europe and the USA among the thousands of visitors.
Minister Creed, who spoke at the BIM Seafood Conference, the Marine Industry Awards ceremony and the Our Ocean Wealth Conference, said: “I was greatly encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm which I witnessed at the various events at SeaFest.
"The large attendance of delegates, the quality of presentations at the various events and the general desire to move forward the development of Ireland’s marine economy was very impressive.
"However, the huge response by the Irish people to the public events at SeaFest, with a record breaking 60,000 people attending on Saturday and Sunday, was the greatest testament to the high level of interest amongst the Irish public in all aspects of the marine.”
Minister Creed also launched the SmartBay Ocean Observatory, which will serve as a important element in the development of an Atlantic Ocean Observatory system and facilitate the test and demonstration of pilot-scale ocean energy devices in Galway Bay, before going on to further commercial development.
"The whole idea of SeaFest was to engage, examine and enthuse the public and policy makers about the potential for the development of our marine economy," said the minister.
"The Government strategy for the development of the marine economy is set out in the Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth integrated plan for the development of the marine in Ireland, and the success of last weekend’s SeaFest augurs well for the support and interest that exists to grow the marine economy in Ireland."
Speaking to The Irish Times, Minister Michael Creed said "I am not going to shop one in favour of the other" amid concerns in the marine sector of a repeat of Ireland's concessions in favour of farming in negotiations to join the then EEC in the early 1970s.
As for what measures the Government will take to address the impact of Brexit, the minister said that "until Britain triggers the exit mechanism and lays its cards on the table, we can’t react".
Recently it was suggested that Britain's exit from the EU could create an opportunity for north Atlantic coastal countries – including Ireland and non-EU member Norway – to form their own economic group and take greater control of the region's fisheries.
The impact of Brexit is already resonating in the marine sector, as major Irish Sea ferry operator Stena Line, based in Sweden, confirmed it is "considering the implications for all of [its] UK interests".
#MarineAwards - The second annual Marine Industry Awards, hosted last night (Thursday 30 June) at the Radisson Blu Galway, saw Dr Dave Jackson of the Marine Institute named as Marine Industry Leader for 2016.
The Marine Institute was proud to sponsor four prestigious awards at last night's ceremony, held to coincide with SeaFest in the City of the Tribes.
These included the Excellence in Marine Technology Award, which went to Seagull Buoys – JFC Manufacturing, and the Excellence in Marine Education and Training Award presented to the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART).
The Excellence in Marine Research Award went to the Coastal/Ocean Observing System, NUI Galway, while the award for Excellence in the Provision of Professional Services to the Marine Industry, sponsored by the Irish Maritime Development Office, went to GAC Training and Service Solutions.
Marin eMinister Michael Creed and Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan commended all the awardees on their success.
On Dr Jackson's award, Dr Heffernan said: "This award is a tremendous recognition of the significant role Dave has played in the development of the aquaculture industry both in Ireland and on an international level.
"I would like to personally acknowledge this achievement as a reflection of his career spanning over 30 years, dedicated to the advancement and expansion of the aquaculture industry."
The event was hosted by comic and broadcaster Colm O'Regan, with 19 prestigious trophies presented to the very best leaders and organisations operating across Ireland's marine industry.
According to the organisers, the Marine Industry Awards provide a voice for the individuals and companies that play a significant role in the growth and development of the industry in Ireland while recognising the key functions within the industry that promote growth and sustainability including manufacturing, port operations, logistics and commercial excellence to innovation, tourism and leisure, sustainability, aquaculture, education as well as many others.
#SeaChange - The Marine Institute yesterday (Thursday 30 June) hosted a number of research projects highlighting important achievements made by the Government's investment in the Sea Change strategy to build capacity, support innovation and ensure the quality of our marine environment.
"Funded research across all areas, from fisheries and aquaculture to marine environment and seafood health, demonstrates the government's commitment to developing Ireland's blue economy while also valuing the quality of our marine environment," said Ciarán Kelly, R&D manager at the Marine Institute, at the Sea Change Researchers Workshop to coincide with SeaFest 2016 and the Our Ocean Wealth Conference.
"This Sea Change research provides vital keys to unlocking our blue economy potential, while ensuring the quality and sustainability of the marine environment."
Over the last six years there has been an investment of more than €60 million in research supported by the framework strategy A Marine Knowledge: Research and Innovation Strategy 2007-2013.
This investment has funded hundreds of projects, study programmes and research scholarships for the marine sector.
Among the projects presented at the Marine Institute yesterday were an ecosystem approach to the management of fishery resources and the detection and testing of shellfish for toxicity azasparicids.
Research on ocean acidification and the genetics of wild salmon populations represent important research funded though the Sea Change programme.
A visual display of Sea Change projects showcased the variety and scale of projects funded, and a number of the Sea Change projects were recognised by the Beaufort Marine Awards held yesterday evening.
"The Sea Change research strategy also outlined the importance of developing skills and research capacity in the marine sector, and to this end, a number of research doctorates, scholarships and education programmes were also funded," said Dr Kelly.
Investment has significantly improved marine research capacity in Ireland, according to the co-ordinators of the Sea Change programme, who say it has strengthened Ireland's competitiveness in marine research and innovation and has supported the sustainability of the marine sector by developing greater alignment between the needs of industry and the research capacity of the public sector and third level.
A new National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy is being developed which will map the current state of research and innovation underpinning Ireland's blue growth potential.
This new strategy, to be published later in 2016, will identify the maturity and capacity of research areas and will be an aid to help focus future investment.
Marine Minister Creed officially opens third national marine (Ocean Wealth) conference and launches third Progress Report on Implementation of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth today.
The Minister outlined the Government’s continued commitment to blue growth and implementation of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth –Ireland’s Integrated Marine Plan. Addressing more than 500 international and national industry leaders, policy makers, researchers and maritime entrepreneurs at the third annual ‘Our Ocean Wealth’ Conference today, in the National University of Ireland, Galway,
Speaking at the conference today Minister Creed said:
“Ireland’s marine sector is a vibrant part of our national economy and we have seen significant growth in our ‘blue economy’. This transformation is being brought about by the commitment and hard work of various State agencies, Government Departments, relevant stakeholders and investors.
“I am delighted to announce the publication of the third Progress Report on Ireland’s Integrated Marine Plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth published by the Government in 2012. The Report sets out the considerable recent progress achieved in implementing the ambitious targets and actions outlined in the Plan and I would like to thank everyone for their continued commitment to its implementation.
The conference, which is an opportunity to reflect on the progress and achievements in implementing Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth included contributions from Minister Creed, Minister Coveney, Minister Naughten and Minister of State Kyne.
Minister Creed stated “This Government will continue to work with the sector’s stakeholders, we will build on the success of recent years and continue to implement Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth – which aims to double the value of the blue economy by 2030 and deliver 29,000 additional jobs across the maritime sector and wider economy.”
Guided by the theme “Into the Blue – Innovating for our Marine Future” the conference focused on how Ireland can innovate in three target areas of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, namely: A Thriving Maritime Economy, Healthy Ecosystems and Engagement with the Sea. Key speakers included Mary L. Shelman, global food and agri-food thought leader, European Commission DG Research Head of Marine Resources Sigi Gruber, Gerald Fleming of Met Eireann, Craig McLean, US National Ocean & Atmospheric Administration and Linda Rosborough of Marine Scotland.
Creating an infrastructure to support the blue economy is critical to the success of Ireland’s integrated marine plan. A key infrastructural element to support the maritime sector was also officially launched at the conference by Minister Creed – the SmartBay Subsea Observatory has now started streaming high speed data from the seabed at Galway Bay to businesses, researchers, scientists and policy makers across the internet. Supported by the Marine Institute, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Science Foundation Ireland, the observatory will be used to collect valuable data from the ocean and will be a critical component of a world-class maritime infrastructure in Ireland.
Welcoming the launch of the Data Observatory, the Minister for Skills, Training and Innovation, John Halligan T.D. said , “This new infrastructure will play a key role in developing and testing the technologies necessary to unlock the economic potential of our Atlantic coast. It will drive innovation in SMEs and multinational companies in the ocean energy sector. I am particularly pleased that Science Foundation Ireland has supported this infrastructure with an award of €2.2 million, under its Research Infrastructure Programme, to fund the subsea cable providing power and data connectivity to the test site”.
Other announcements included the establishment of a dedicated Marine Development Team involving major development agencies of the state in an integrated inter agency based approach to delivering further development of the blue economy.
Minister Creed added that “The Marine Development Team which will make recommendations to the cross Departmental Marine Coordination Group, will be coordinated by the Marine Institute. I look forward to this talented team bringing a further collaborative, cohesive and cutting edge approach to growing Ireland’s Blue Economy and augmenting the positive inter agency work of recent years.”
Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth and Seafest are initiatives of the Inter-Departmental Marine Coordination Group. The conference as well as a range of industry and innovation events are taking place in Galway as part of SeaFest from 30th June -3 July. A wide range of public events are also taking place in Galway Harbour this weekend (July 2-3) as part of SeaFest which supports a key goal of Harnessing Our Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan - engaging with the Sea.
Prepare to ‘sea’ it all in Galway over the first weekend in July as the city welcomes SeaFest maritime festival, and plunges into a weekend of ocean-themed activities and entertainment.
A key goal of ‘Harnessing our Ocean Wealth: An Integrated Marine plan for Ireland’, SeaFest is all about increasing participation and engagement with the sea, showcasing Ireland’s abundant maritime resources and celebrating its proud maritime heritage – but there’ll be plenty of light-hearted fun too.
Preparing to sail his quirky craft straight into maritime history will be artist Frank Bôlter. His ‘On A Voyage’ project is a whimsical, epic and heroic attempt to build and sail a giant paper boat which he has made with members of the Kinvara Sailing Club.
The craft is a grown-up, giant-scale and, hopefully, seaworthy, version of the traditional folded paper yachts made by children. Despite its unlikely appearance, crew confidence in its reliability is high, for Frank has travelled the world with his project creating giant paper boats in Europe and Sri Lanka. Here in Galway, ‘On A Voyage’ is a pilot programme within the Galway 2020 project ‘Every Place’, a project devised by Neil Butler, Artistic Director of UZ Arts, and produced in partnership with TULCA for Galway 2020.
The giant paper boat will be launched at Kinvara Pier on Saturday 2 July at 12noon and will sail proudly into Galway Harbour alongside a flotilla of Galway Hookers. Always a favourite with locals and visitors alike, the Hookers will be showing off their speed and style with a series of races including the chase for the historic Galway Plate.
When you’ve done your share of cheering from the shoreline, there will also be opportunities to step on board craft which are usually closed to the public. Tours are free of charge but capacity will be limited.
The 15m survey catamaran, The RV Keary, will be berthed in Galway docks throughout SeaFest. With an open invitation to step on board, visit to see how and where seabed data is acquired and gain an insight into the work of marine surveyors. The aluminium boat is crewed by scientists from the Marine Institute and the Geological Survey of Ireland as part of the joint seabed mapping project – INFOMAR. Equipped with state of the art sonar mapping systems as well as seabed sampling capabilities, The RV Keary works mostly in inshore waters which can be as shallow as 2 metres. The vessel has also played its part in charting our maritime history, hosting archaeological dives on historical wrecks around the coast.
The Commissioner of Irish Lights, who maintain all the lighthouses across the country, will be bringing their exhibition of the role of Irish lighthouses from 1911 to 1923 and their own ship, The Granuaile, to SeaFest, providing a unique opportunity to see on board one of the most advanced marine vessels of its kind in the world.
Both of the Marine Institute’s (Foras Na Mara) Research Vessels, the Celtic Explorer and the Celtic Voyager will also dock at Galway, with the Celtic Explorer conducting hourly open house tours throughout the festival weekend. The national research vessels will be a familiar sight to many locals as Galway Harbour is their home port between surveys which include fish stock assessments, mapping Ireland’s seabed, surveying deep sea habitats, and oceanographic research, including the survey of the Whittard Canyon system with NUIG scientists earlier this month. The 65m RV Celtic Explorer can accommodate up to 35 personnel including crew and scientists and can spend 35 consecutive days at sea. The 31.5 m RV Celtic Voyager will also be open to the public. The Marine Institute’s unmanned submarine, the ROV Holland I will be on display alongside the research vessels. It’s normally deployed from the deck of the RV Celtic Explorer and piloted remotely to capture high definition video footage of the deep ocean as well as collecting samples from the seabed.
Adding drama to the line-up of vessels in port will be the naval service ship, L.É. Niamh. She is built to the successful RóisÁn design which optimises her year-round patrol performance in Irish waters which are among the roughest in the world. For that reason L.É. Niamh has a greater length overall (78.8m), giving the ship a long sleek appearance.
If its appearance is dramatic then so too are the roles of the vessel and its ship’s company. During a 10-week mission to the Mediterranean late last year 2015 the L.É. Niamh crew delivered a baby, named Destiny, rescued more than 4,100 people at sea and had to recover 39 bodies in the course of tasks requested by the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre.
If you’re tempted to have a go on the water, then try Tri Sailing. A 20 foot keelboat (also known as a Sonar), will be close by the Tri Sailing promotional stand in the Inner Harbour, ready to give experiential trips for up to five people at a time. Demand is sure to be high, but the experience promises to be well worth a wait – especially as the Inner Harbour area will be packed with entertainment.
If you’d prefer to keep your feet on dry land while you gain your maritime experience, then what about captaining a remote control boat? There will be five fabulous model craft doing duty at the weekend at the Inner Harbour, with experts on hand to help ‘newbies’ get to grips with the complexities of steering and manoeuvring the mini-vessels.
As any seafarer will confirm, the sea demands our respect, with safety always the key priority. The RNLI will reinforce that message with their engaging Respect the Water Campaign Roadshow and a packed programme of activities both on and off the water, including an awe-inspiring Air/Sea Rescue demonstration staged in collaboration with the Coast Guard and RNLI on Saturday 2 July, starting at 2.30pm.
To see the full SeaFest programme and check out ‘On The Water’ events visit www.seafest.ie.