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World Leaders Convene for the Our Ocean Wealth Summit

Heads of State and Ministers, UN Representatives and Ambassadors from island nations around the globe will convene in Cork for this year’s Our Ocean Wealth Summit to discuss the impact of climate change on island nations.  Our Ocean Wealth Summit, sponsored by PwC, takes place at Cork City Hall over 2 days on 9 & 10 June, following Ireland’s national maritime festival, SeaFest, this year.

Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan said, “The health of our oceans is critical to the health of our planet.  Almost three quarters of the earth’s surface is covered by the oceans and it absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity. Plastics in our oceans are affecting over 700 species from plankton to whales, and climate change is impacting the world’s oceans in terms of acidity and global warming. We must act as a collective.

The Summit programme will reflect the in-depth collaboration between relevant agencies, including Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Tourism Ireland, Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) and the Marine Institute, and the diverse programme reflects a strong cross-governmental approach, spearheaded this year by the Department of Agriculture Food & Marine and the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

See www.ouroceanwealth.ie/summit for updated programme and speaker bios.

Further Information

For more information, contact Renate Murphy, CAMEO Communications Tel: 086.8145462 Email: renate@cameo.ie

Our Ocean Wealth Facts: (Ref: Marine Institute)

  • 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.
Initial Publication Date: 
Thursday, 30 May, 2019