Citation Information: Enda Kenny, T.D., Taoiseach; Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine; July 2012
Description: Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth is an Integrated Marine Plan (IMP), setting out a roadmap for the Government’s vision, high-level goals and integrated actions across policy, governance and business to enable our marine potential to be realised. Implementation of this Plan will see Ireland evolve an integrated system of policy and programme planning for our marine affairs. Implementation of the Plan will, of course, have to be delivered within the over-riding medium-term fiscal framework and budgetary targets adopted by the Government.
Our ocean is a national asset, supporting a diverse marine economy, with vast potential to tap into a €1,200 billion global marine market for seafood, tourism, oil and gas, marine renewable energy, and new applications for health, medicine and technology. In 2007, Ireland generated 1.2% of GDP (€2.4bn direct and indirect Gross Value Added) from its ocean economy, supporting about 1% of the total workforce. Global marine economic activity is estimated to contribute 2% of the world’s GDP and the European Commission estimates that between 3% and 5% of Europe’s GDP was generated from sea-related industries and services in 2007. Many believe that we can achieve substantially more. This real opportunity demands a strong integrated cross-government plan of action.
Our marine resources also provide essential non-commercial benefits such as amenity, biodiversity and our mild climate. Ireland’s marine ecosystems (i.e. offshore, inshore and coastline) are home to a rich and diverse range of species and habitats. Our national asset offers significant potential for Ireland’s marine enterprises and sectors and needs to be protected, managed and developed for and by our citizens. The Government is determined to ensure that our ocean wealth will be a key component of our economic recovery and sustainable growth, generating benefits for all our citizens.