The Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU), Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, recently hosted its 9th Annual Marine Economics & Policy Research Symposium (18th Nov). With over 80 delegates, the day was a great success with this year’s theme, ‘The Marine Economy: Access and Infrastructure’. Speakers included Lt. Cdr Paul Hegarty, Irish Naval Service, Dr Christina Kelly, Queen’s University Belfast, Dr Gianluca Grilli of the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin and Dr Ingrid Mateo Mantecon, Universidad de Cantabria, Santander, Spain, to name but a few. The first session addressed marine and coastal resource usage and access, including sea level rise costs, seabass angling – access and effort, valuing marine & coastal tourism to the Irish economy and transforming marine governance. Following that, the mid-morning session gave an eye opening insight into the world of maritime security in Ireland, fisheries protection and policing, followed by the ever hot topic of Brexit and the displacement of fishing. This led nicely into a cosy discussion over lunch overlooking the River Corrib on a sunny November day.
Dr Stephen Hynes, Director of SEMRU said, “One of the highlights of the symposium was the afternoon plenary session, where Dr Micheál O’Cinnéide shared his vast experiences and views on marine governance and spatial planning in Ireland. Micheál advocated for an increase in resources for marine spatial planning equivalent to its land counterpart and pointed to Scotland in terms of a good example in designing the State’s first plan for its marine territory. It was also great to have representative from the relevant government department responding to Micheál’s talk on the day.” Check out the article from the Irish Times on Micheál’s plenary here.
The day came to a close with a final session which zoned in on ports – looking at access and efficiency, with a comparison of Spanish versus Irish ports and container port terminal sustainability.
Next year will see the 10th anniversary of the symposium.