Taoiseach Announces 92 Jobs in the Marine Sector

Marine Sector JobsThe Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D. today (6th October) announced the creation of 92 jobs in the marine sector while on a visit to the national research vessel R.V. Celtic Explorer in Dublin. The jobs will be created in the areas of seafood processing and marine research.

The Taoiseach also welcomed the expansion of Ireland's capabilities in the international shipping services sector, which is expected to attract additional jobs to the country.

(L to R : Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Mr.Simon Coveney T.D., Marine Institute CEO Dr. Peter Heffernan, An Taoiseach Mr. Enda Kenny T.D. and Mr. Tommy Furey of the Marine Institute view a display of seabed mapping on board the RV Celtic Explorer. All images on this page by Jason Clarke Photography.)

In the seafood sector a further tranche of investment under the Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) was announced which will see a further €3.5 million in investment this year and generate 64 jobs.

An Taoiseach at the eventIn the marine research area, funding of €2 million has been made available for an International SmartOcean Graduate Programme, created in collaboration between the IRCSET (Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology), the Marine Institute, five Irish universities and key multinationals and SME Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies to provide funding for 28 research posts.

Ireland's emerging international shipping services sector has continued to grow, underpinned by a number of investments in new and second hand ships over the last twelve months by such companies as Arklow Shipping and the Mainport Group, as well as foreign direct investments by D'Amico and Ardmore shipping.
Taoiseach presented with plaque

"Ireland is now recognized as an emerging power in Marine Research and Innovation," said the Taoiseach, "This has been achieved through the mapping of the 90% of Irish national territory that lies under the Atlantic, the creation of a quarter of a billion Euros worth of marine research infrastructure, and the fostering of strong linkages between industry and research centres, all of which will support employment opportunities in key areas of potential growth in the marine sector."

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Notes to Editor
The Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme is administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board on behalf of the Department, and has earlier this year approved over €7 million in grant-aided capital investment in the seafood processing sector. This latest tranche will deliver a further €3.5 million in investment in 2011 and generate 64 additional jobs on top of the 158 jobs already announced by the Minister in May.

BIM have worked closely with Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta to ensure the companies that presented solid business plans with a clear focus on adding value to Irish seafood were awarded grant aid of up to 25% on capital expenditure. The qualifying projects all exemplify dynamic ideas in new product development and innovation. The scheme is projected to result in increased sales of nearly €43 million by 2014.

The International SmartOcean Graduate Programme (ISGP) brings together groupings of expertise from Dublin City University (DCU), NUIG, National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM0, University College, Cork (UCC) and the University of Limerick (UL) focused on high quality marine and related research. It will be sponsored and co-funded by the Marine Institute, IRCSET and industry. It will provide funding over the period 2011 – 2015 for 22 PhD awards and six post doctoral awards.

Ireland's emerging international shipping services sector is made up of Irish based companies that mainly operate in different niche segments of the global shipping market. These companies typically own, operate and manage their ships from Ireland.

The expansion in this sector has been underpinned by a number of investments in new and second hand ships over the last twelve months. Arklow Shipping announced that they have just agreed a contract with Korean shipbuilders to deliver two new 34,500 ton vessels – the largest ever built for that company – and that in December they will take delivery of the fifth in a series of 14,000 ton ships from Korea with the final vessel being delivered in June 2013. The company has also contracted a further six ships, each of 8,800 tons, which will be built in the Netherlands for delivery in 2013 and 2014. Tomorrow (7thOctober) the company will launch the MV Arlow Forest, the last of ten ships it has contracted from the Meureta shipyard in Spain. All of these vessels will be owned, managed and operated by Irish companies.

The Research Vessel RV Celtic Explorer and her sister ship, the RV Celtic Voyager are on course to be the busiest national research vessels in the European Union this year. The globally significant discovery in July of new hydrothermal vents on the mid-Atlantic ridge (1,500 km away and 3 km deep) on a mission funded by the Marine Institute and lead by UCC in collaboration with NUI Galway, the Geological Survey of Ireland and the National Oceanographic Centre in Southampton (UK) will be broadcast to the world as part of the National Geographic TV Series Alien Deep, early in 2012.