The 10th Annual Marine Economics Policy Research Symposium was recently held at the Marine Institute in Oranmore and provided a forum for researchers, scientists, economists and policy makers to present and exchange views on a wide range of topics such as the public perceptions of the oceans, marine spatial planning, marine ecosystem service benefit valuation and marine and coastal tourism. The Symposium was organised by the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) of the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway with the support of the Marine Institute.
The 10th Annual Symposium also showcased the international collaborations that have been established between SEMRU and partner institutes through a number of EU projects.
Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, welcomed the researchers noting "SEMRU has played a vital role in establishing a sustainable method of valuing our oceans, and have also undertaken complex research initiatives across a broad spectrum of areas, such as fisheries, maritime transport tourism and natural capital accounting. Today, economic evidence is available to show the value - market and non-market - of our ocean resources with Ireland's marine sector recognised by Government and the State as an important national asset."
SEMRU presented the latest economic figures to Government in June 2019 as part of Our Ocean Wealth Summit. The latest figures show that Ireland's ocean economy had a turnover of €6.23 billion and provided employment for 34,132 people (full time equivalents). The total direct and indirect value of Ireland's ocean economy is estimated by SEMRU to be in excess of €4.2 billion GVA (Gross Valued Added), equivalent to 2% of GDP. Ireland's integrated marine plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, outlines the Government's target to increase the turnover from our ocean economy to exceed €6.4 billion by 2020 and double its value to 2.4% of GDP by 2030.
The 10th Annual Symposium included speakers from the NUI Galway, the Marine Institute, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Galway-Mayo Institute Technology, Trinity College, Queens University Belfast and ABPmer. International speakers included Prof Nick Hanley University of Glasgow, Dr Adriana Ressurreição Centre of Marine Sciences Portugal, Dr Rolf Groeneveld Wageningen University in the Netherlands, Dr Wenting Chen The Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Dr Arantza Murillas AZTI Tecnalia Spain and Dr Tobias Borger University of Stirling.
The presentations from this event can be downloaded from the SEMRU website at: http://www.nuigalway.ie/semru/newsevents/title-250648-en.html