Plans to Double Ocean Economy

TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny has described as “dynamic” a new Government plan to double the value of the State’s ocean wealth by 2030.

The ocean wealth “roadmap”, which Mr Kenny and Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney endorsed at the Marine Institute in Galway yesterday, aims to increase turnover from the ocean economy to more than €6.4 billion within eight years.

Although Ireland has the EU’s third-largest sea area, the report sets a conservative target of doubling gross domestic product (GDP) generated from marine activities from a current 1.2 per cent to 2.4 per cent by 2030.

Britain’s GDP from the marine sector is 4.2 per cent, while the states of Denmark and Norway derive 11 and 20 per cent of GDP respectively from their coastlines.

The new “ocean wealth” plan aims to tap into a global ocean market worth an estimated €1.2 trillion, at a time when the EU and member states have identified the potential of “blue growth”, through an integrated maritime policy.

Earlier this summer, the European commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said that the “blue economy” had an important role to play in Europe’s economic recovery, and could make a “real, tangible and positive difference . . . for Europe’s citizens”.

Aquaculture, renewable energy, marine and coastal tourism and marine biotechnology are among the activities identified as having greater potential here.

The plan emphasises that the “real map of Ireland” is 10 times its landmass.

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Article written by Lorna Siggins,  courtesy of Irish Times.

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