Conference to explore the economic potential of the sea

The potential for sea food, sea technology, sea energy, and ports/harbours in generating economic growth, will be the subjects of the inaugural Bright Blue Sea Conference.

The conference, organised by the Galway Chamber of Commerce, takes place in the new g Suite at the g Hotel on Thursday May 30.

The conference is for people interested in the sea as a habitat; a provider of food, energy, and scenic beauty; as an influence on employment; and for research and education.

The event will be divided into four categories: Sea TECH; Sea FOOD; Sea PORT; and Sea ENERGY.

Sea TECH will be led by the SmartBay project and NUI Galway’s Prof Michael Hartnett, who recently said sea energy has the potential to create 70,000 jobs in Ireland.

Speakers at Sea FOOD will be Cáit Noone, head of the College of Tourism and Arts, GMIT; and Green Party spokesperson Seamus Sheridan.

Sea PORT will feature Anders Bang-Andersen, head of cruise development in Stavanger, Norway; Captain Brian Sheridan, harbour master, Galway Port; and Lt Cdr Erika Downing, Irish Naval Service.

Sea ENERGY will include speakers Dr Stephen Nash, Ryan Institute, NUIG; Ben Wrafter, chair of the Atlantic Ocean Energy Alliance; Dr James Tedd, ocean energy project manager with ESBI; and economist Dr Tom Van Rensburg.

The format will be interactive with a Q&A during each themed quarter. Registration begins at 8.30am and the conference will begin at 9am. The opening address will be given by Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute. The president of Galway Chamber Jim Fennell will give the closing remarks at 5pm.

All booking is in advance and online through www.galwaychamber.com

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