Cork was transformed into a giant interactive ‘sea world’ for the three days of SeaFest 2019, and the port was awash with non-stop activities and entertainment for all ages.
Visitors to the Marine Institute’s Wild Atlantic Theatre were treated to exciting talks and shows with award-winning wildlife cameraman Doug Allan, filmmaker Ken O’Sullivan and Met Éireann’s head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack.
Ireland’s maritime history was also in focus with a seminar on the antiquity and sustainability of curraghs, as Tom MacSweeney writes.
And the side of the R&H Hall building in Cork Harbour was transformed with an enormous depiction of the ‘Real Map of Ireland’ which takes into account the State’s significant seabed territory.
All the events during SeaFest were free for festival-goers. There were open tours available on a number of vessels in the ship-filled harbour including State research vessel RV Celtic Explorer — fresh off its annual ocean climate research survey to collect high-quality oceanographic data for the Atlantic Ocean Observing System.
The festival, which was held in Galway for the last few years, concluded yesterday (Monday 10 June) with the Ocean Wealth Summit which featured special guests John Kerry, the former US Secretary of State, and the presidents, foreign ministers or UN ambassadors of 31 small island developing states.
SeaFest 2019 also saw the official launch of EurofleetsPlus, the programme to facilitate access to the largest advanced research vessel fleet across Europe, Greenland, the USA and Canada, Bermuda and New Zealand — providing a significant increase in ship-time at sea.
The programme will now move towards its competitive call phase, including SEA (ship-time and marine equipment application) which will have an ‘Ocean’ call, due to open this month, and a ‘Regional’ call in September.