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Minister Creed Opens Atlantic Stakeholders Conference at Croke Park Key Fisheries & Marine Issues Discussed in Bilateral Meeting with Commissioner Karmenu Vella

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed T.D. today opened the Atlantic Stakeholders (Maritime) Conference at Croke Park conference centre. Over 480 mainly international delegates are attending the annual Conference. The Minister also held a bilateral meeting with Commissioner Karmenu Vella on important upcoming fisheries and marine issuesof importance to Ireland.

We are delighted to host today’s Atlantic Stakeholders Conference which provides an international forum to explore new ideas for our shared marine resources, new ways of working and opportunities for networking and innovation. The sea has particular importance to an island nation like us but equally the importance of marine and maritime research is now widely recognised in both Ireland and in the EU. The Atlantic Strategy  Action plan has provided a focus on what the European region (in partnership with other key stakeholders) needs to do to grow and develop its marine economy, in a sustainable manner, for the benefit of coastal communities and the national economy’ said Minister Creed speaking at the event.

The Conference, which promotes collaborative entrepreneurship and innovation in the Atlantic area, was also attended by European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, Deirdre Clune (MEP) and the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr. Implementation of the EU’s Atlantic Strategy is overseen by the Atlantic Strategy Group, currently chaired by Ireland and composed of relevant Member States (Ireland, UK, France, Portugal and Spain), the European Commission as well as regional representatives.

The key priority actions identified in the Atlantic Strategy Action Plan are to:

  • Promote entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Protect, secure and enhance the marine and coastal environment
  • Improve accessibility and connectivity
  • Create a more socially inclusive and sustainable model of regional development.

Minister Creed held a bilateral meeting with Commissioner Vella and discussed the upcoming international negotiations on Mackerel, which is Irelands’ largest commercial fishery. The Minister and the Commissioner also had a first exchange of views on aspects of the fish quota-setting exercise for the coming year, which is underway and will culminate at the December Fisheries Council. The meeting also discussed issues related to Irelands’ role in the development of the digital ocean and the proposed EU Ocean Observation system.

The Minister also took the opportunity to brief international delegates on Ireland’s own successful blue growth strategies being implemented under the Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth policy framework with inputs from a range of relevant Government Departments and agencies.

Minister Creed stated: ‘The Irish Government has afforded the marine a central role in the growth of our economy, through the development of our integrated marine plan for Ireland, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth. The implementation of the plan is a priority for Government and has already led to a gradual and in some cases dramatic refocusing of policy in this area. We fully understand and give due recognition to the potential of the marine economy but also to the need to work together to unlock that growth collaboratively for our shared Atlantic area’.

Promotion of the Atlantic Strategy at Member State level is assigned to relevant national contact points responsible for the provision of information on the Strategy, relevant funding and identification of partners. The national focal point in Ireland is based in Galway’s Marine Institute. An annual conference takes place in the country of the chairing Member State to bring together academics, researchers, industry and other relevant stakeholders to discuss the implementation of the Strategy and various elements within it. This year’s conference in Croke Park is the third such event, with previous conferences in Porto in January 2015 and Brest in October 2015.

To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 121/2016 (pdf 387Kb) 

Date Released: 27 September 2016

Distribution channels: Agriculture, Farming & Forestry