A key step in developing Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth - An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland was to gather the widest possible source of ideas and opinions through inclusive stakeholder consultation.
Early in 2012, a consultation document entitled Our Ocean Wealth: Seeking Your Views: New Ways; New Approaches; New Thinking was launched. This discussion document posed ten questions designed to capture the views and ideas of the public on generating sustainable growth in our marine economy.
Additional views and ideas were also welcomed and a public debate was facilitated through an online discussion forum, helping to inform marine policy-making and improving the quality of decisions reached and services provided.
Three briefing documents were also prepared to support the consultation. As part of the consultation process, Minister Coveney T.D. and representatives of the Marine Coordination Group presented the initiative to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture. The consultation ran for a period of 8 weeks.
One hundred and ninety-two submissions were received from a wide range of stakeholders including:
- Government/State organisations/committees (22);
- NGOs (5);
- individuals (106);
- local community groups (8);
- SMEs, MNCs and other private enterprises (21);
- Industry, Trade & Professional Organisations (17);
- Higher Education Institutions & Research Consortia (11);
- and Political Organisations/Representatives(2).