#BlueGrowth - Ireland and Kenya have signed a Memorandum of Understanding towards co-operation of both country’s marine sectors.
The agreement was signed as part of the visit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, to Kenya and Ethiopia last week.
The MOU between the Marine Institute and the Kenyan Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) aims to foster increased understanding and interchange of ideas for the mutual benefit of the Irish and Kenyan marine sectors, and to establish and grow a strong working relationship between the two parties.
“We are very much looking forward to working on areas of co-operation with KMFRI in the coming years,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan. “It is an excellent opportunity for both institutes to share expertise and knowledge.
“We are at an exciting time in terms of marine research, and agreements such as these assist with a sense of collaboration and progress, particularly on an international level.”
A delegation of officials from the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and the Blue Economy (MALFBE) visited the Marine Institute in February 2016, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
In August 2016, the Irish Embassy in Nairobi invited Dr Paul Connolly, director of fisheries ecosystems advisory services at the Marine Institute, to visit and give a talk on the experience of Ireland with the blue economy and, in particular, the Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth process.
Following on from these and other meetings, a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutes was proposed and was entered into last week.
Principal areas of co-operation to be pursued under the agreement will initially focus on the following areas of mutual interest:
- Marine fisheries management plans
- Hydro acoustics and assessment of pelagic fisheries resources
- Spatial analyses and mapping of vessel monitoring systems (VMS) data
- Integration of VMS and logbook data for fisheries management
- Data management best practice
- Study visits and exchange of experts
- The establishment of joint PhD and post-doctoral research projects
Minister Coveney’s visit to East Africa also included the launch of a new Kenya-Ireland agri-food strategy, meetings with Irish companies doing business in the region, and the opening of the new Irish Embassy in Nairobi.