SeaFest is set to return to Galway in 2017 and 2018, following the success of the event this summer. More than 60,000 visitors flocked to SeaFest, Ireland's national maritime festival, the last weekend in June to enjoy an action-packed programme of free family-friendly events at Galway Docks and an international conference at NUIG. The event featured, among other events, Galway Hookers challenging for The Galway Plate, tours of the tall ship The Phoenix, cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs, tours of the Marine Institute's research vessels and the third annual 'Our Ocean Wealth Conference'.
Following its success, Galway is now set to host the festival for the next two years. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed confirmed this week that the Marine Coordination Group, an interdepartmental body in charge of the event, had agreed to keep the festival in Galway until 2018 to "build on the local commitment to it". "In particular the huge response by the Irish people to the public events at SeaFest with a record breaking 60,000 people attending on Saturday and Sunday was a great testament to the high level of interest amongst the Irish public in all aspects of the marine," said Minister Creed.
Welcoming the news, Marine Institute CEO Dr Peter Heffernan said: "We're delighted with the decision of the Marine Coordination Group and Minister Creed to return SeaFest to Galway in 2017 and 2018 following the huge success of the event in Galway last summer. SeaFest is all about is increasing participation and engagement with the sea, showcasing Ireland's abundant marine resources and celebrating our proud maritime heritage".
Commenting on the success of Seafest 2016 Dr. Heffernan said: SeaFest is a hugely ambitious venture and Galway rose to the challenge of providing a fabulous weekend which both informed and entertained. As the crowds in Galway showed, the sea is a fantastic source of fun and entertainment and we were thrilled to see so many people – locals and visitors alike – join in the spirited marine-themed fun. We will now build on the success of SeaFest 2016 by retaining it in Galway for the next two years. We look forward to working again with our event partners at National University of Ireland Galway, Galway City Council, Port of Galway, the Navel Service and Defence Forces as well as our colleagues in Bord Bia and Bord Iascaigh Mhara and the many organisations working to promote and protect our ocean wealth."
SeaFest is a reflection of the Government's ambition to build the economic value of Ireland's marine industry. In 2017, the business conference component of the event will focus on a variety of themes, including: Transforming the Marine Industry; Understanding the Changing Nature of Our Oceans ; and Marine Tourism. These themes address some of the exciting business opportunities that lie in the seas around our coasts and will be presented at the conference by world class speakers, high profile industry leaders and business commentators.
SAVE THE DATE: Seafest 2017 Galway 30th June – 02nd July 2017
For more information please contact Lisa Fitzpatrick/Sinéad Coyne, Marine Institute,
lisa [dot] fitzpatrick [at] marine [dot] ie / Sinead [dot] coyne [at] marine [dot] ie