The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. welcomed the success of the national Marine festival SeaFest which was run in Galway from Thursday to Sunday last. Over 60,000 members of the public visited the public elements of the festival in addition to 750 delegates, from Ireland, Europe and the USA, who attended three Marine related Conferences, which were held on Thursday & Friday.
Minister Creed who spoke at the BIM Seafood Conference, the Marine Industry Awards Ceremony and the Harnessing 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.”
Pictured: Minister Michael Creed starting of Session 1 of the Harnessing our Ocean Welath Conference
Minister Creed also launched the Galway Bay Smart Bay 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.
Concluding, Minister Creed said “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. 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."
More on SeaFest
Several sectoral conferences were run in Galway, these included:
- BIM SeaFood Conference with in excess of 200 delegates
- The Digital Ocean Conference with in excess of 140 delegates. This event was co-organised by MI & IMO, IDA, EI, SF
- HOOW (Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth) Conference attended by Minsters Creed, Naughton and Kyne:
- The conference featured the launch of the Smartbay Underwater Observatory which is now live at www.marine.ie/smartbay
- Had over 400 delegates in attendance on the day (e.g. collect their conference packs etc)
- Included international speakers from Scotland and the United States
- Profiled Irish researchers and important inter-agency projects such as the Baselines Mapping
The public elements of SeaFest attracted nearly 60,000 people in the docks area of Galway, with participation by the Defence Forces, BIM, the Marine Institute, Commissioners of Irish Lights, the Irish Sailing Association, SEAI and others.