This year the Marine Institute is celebrating the people connected to our ocean with the launch of a new national awareness campaign, 'Faces of the Sea'. The campaign highlights what the sea means to 52 people who have a connection to the ocean through business and industry, science and exploration, sport and leisure. The campaign includes portraits of scientists, swimmers, sailors, skippers and seafood sellers, just to name a few.
The aim of the campaign is to showcase and celebrate the fact that we are all connected in one way or another to the ocean and no matter how far you live from a shore line, the ocean has a big impact on our lives.
As an island nation, our sea has particular importance to Ireland's history and culture. Our ocean is a valuable source of food, a gateway for shipping and means of transport, as well as supporting diverse ecosystems. The ocean has a significant influence on our prosperity, health and wellbeing, as well as affecting our climate and environment. For many of Ireland's coastal communities, our ocean also offers tourism and leisure opportunities and there are those whose livelihoods depend directly on our ocean and seas. Our ocean supports a diverse marine industry, providing full-time employment to 32,500 people across Ireland.
Galway Photographer, Michelle Greaves of Wonky Eye Photography, captured portrait photographs of 52 people connected to our ocean, asking each person to share 'what does the sea mean to you?'
The 'Faces of the Sea' campaign includes Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Minister Creed, CEO of BIM Jim O'Toole, as well as renowned film maker Ken O'Sullivan, and solo sailor, Joan Mulloy. The campaign also includes representatives from the RNLI, Irish Coast Guard, Irish Naval Service and our Defence Forces.
Each week the Marine Institute will share a 'Faces of the Sea' portrait on social media to celebrate Ireland's marine resource. Follow #FacesOfTheSea on the Marine Institute Facebook page @marineinstituteireland and Twitter @MarineInst
The campaign will also include a profile of 12 staff from the Marine Institute, showcasing their career experience and role at the Marine Institute.