Reconnections: Land, Water, Cities and Heritage Conference

19th-20th October 2015, Titanic Hotel, Stanley Dock, Liverpool

Reconnections is a FREE two-day conference organised jointly between Liverpool City Council and Maritime Heritage Trust, in conjunction with Belfast and Cardiff City Councils, and is the first of a trio of conferences.

Day 1 is concerned with the approach of how ideas of identity, place and cultural heritage can play a part in development and regeneration projects that help preserve distinctiveness. Connections refers to the thread of cultural heritage from the past through to the future of cities like Liverpool, Belfast and Cardiff – all three of which are planning major projects. The day begins with a keynote address from Professor Richard Williams, and will explore the key themes, and this is followed by case studies from each city. John Belchem will speak on Liverpool’s roots and development, and Alona Martinez-Perez will re- examine the ‘Guggenheim effect’ of Bilbao and assess its impact and relevance now. Pete Swift will talk about ‘Liverpoolness’ and how its key characteristics have informed plans for the city centre extension of Liverpool Waters.

You can join us for just one or both days; the programme and booking information can be found at http://maritimeheritage.org.uk/conference2015

Marine Scotland’s first national survey of coastal and marine recreation and tourism

Marine Scotland is launching its first national survey of recreation and tourism around the Scottish coast and seas. It covers a vast array of activities and tourism businesses in, on or next to the sea.

The survey, run by consultancy LUC, aims to provide data to support marine planning and is a partnership between Marine Scotland, Firth of Clyde Forum, Scottish Coastal Forum, The Crown Estate, VisitScotland, sportscotland, WHAM, Royal Yachting Association, British Marine (Scotland), Sail Scotland and Scottish Canals.

The survey is online at www.marinerecreationandtourism.scot. It will run from 1st August until 31st October 2015.

The survey coincides with the development of a new suite of Regional Marine Plans covering Scotland’s coast and seas and related work such as the pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters plan, currently out for consultation.

By telling us who does what and where, the survey will help ensure these plans reflect Scotland’s unique opportunities for activities such as kayaking, sailing, wildlife watching or simply playing about with a frisbee on the beach. It will help recreation be appropriately recognised in the planning process, providing the kind of information we hold for other activities like shipping, off-shore renewables and fish farming. It will also help justify and guide future investment in facilities and infrastructure.

Election of New Chair for ISMF

Nominations are being sought for the position of a Chairperson of the Irish Sea Maritime Forum to hold the position from September 2015 to August 2017. The position is open to a representative from any organisation with an interest in the Irish Sea or may be an individual who has the expertise and time available to fulfil the role.

We are looking for someone who can demonstrate:

  • A high profile in the Irish Sea region; able to champion the Irish Sea Maritime Forum and its work regionally, nationally and internationally;
  • Leadership to drive the strategic direction of the Forum, including the Forum’s Business Plan, and to encourage engagement of other organisations with the Forum;
  • Commitment to the Forum’s vision and ongoing programme of work;
  • Willingness to support, guide and discuss relevant issues with the Irish Sea Maritime Forum secretariat on an ad hoc basis as necessary;
  • The support of their employer for taking on this role and the cost, time and work commitments necessitated by it.

If you are interested in standing for Chair, or know someone who may be suitable for the position, please see the more detailed role description and nomination form HERE.

Nominations for the role of Chair must be received no later than 31st July 2015. 

Once nominated, all proposed/seconded nominees will be contacted and asked if they are willing for their names to be put forward. They will be asked to supply a 1 page synopsis of relevant experience and what they feel they can bring to the Forum and this information will be circulated to members of the Steering Group for consideration. The election will then take place electronically under a system of one vote per organisation represented on the Steering Group.

EU Consultation on International Ocean Governance

The Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) of the European Commission has recently announced the launch of a public consultation on International Ocean Governance.

The aim of this consultation is to gather input on how the EU could contribute to achieving better international governance of oceans and seas to the benefit of sustainable blue growth. On the basis of the results and other sources of data and information, the European Commission will consider how best to develop a more coherent, comprehensive and effective EU policy on improving the international ocean governance framework.

Issues covered in the consultation document include:

  • The importance of international ocean governance for managing shared resources such as fisheries, raw materials, shipping and combating threats such as climate change and international security.
  • The effectiveness of the existing international framework for ocean governance based around the Law of the Sea, which is now being challenged by increased pressure on the oceans from human activity.
  • The number of institutions with responsibility for the seas operating at different levels (global, regional, national and sub-national), lack of transparency, failure to ratify agreements and gaps in both geographical and thematic coverage.
  • Lack of scientific knowledge about certain sea regions and the need for up to date information that reflects the impacts of human uses and climate change to assist decision making.

The consultation is open to individuals and organisations. Full details associated documents can be found HERE. The consultation closes on 15th September 2015.

Update: The deadline for submitting responses to this consultation has now been extended to 15th October 2015.

European Funding and Projects

Following on from last summer’s Irish Sea Maritime Forum conference on the theme of Blue Growth, stakeholder inputs from the conference have been used to develop a project Prospectus, outlining ideas for projects that could be developed into full bids for funding from European sources such as INTERREG.

We are inviting expressions of interest in these ideas and hope to organise a Partner Cafe event in Spring 2015 to bring together potential partners for bid development.

For more information and to download the Prospectus see our European Funding Opportunities page.

Scotland’s National Marine Plan

Scotland’s first National Marine Plan was laid before Parliament last Thursday, 11th December, setting out the Scottish Government’s Vision for the sustainable development and use of the marine environment. This follows consultation on a Draft National Marine Plan which took place during 2013.

The National Marine Plan encourages better management of the seas and aims to ensure sustainable economic growth of Scotland’s marine industries, while taking the environment into account. A sustainable approach to managing Scotland’s marine environment will ensure its resources are available for future generations to benefit from.

The Plan includes policies for the sustainable growth of fishing, aquaculture, salmon and migratory fish, oil and gas, carbon capture and storage, offshore wind and marine renewable energy, recreation and tourism, shipping, ports, harbours and ferries, submarine cables, defence, aggregates.

The National Marine Plan can be downloaded from the Scottish Government website.

FAQs on the National Marine Plan can be viewed HERE.

Third Annual Conference – Presentations Now Available

Despite a last minute change of venue the Irish Sea Maritime Forum held a successful third Annual Conference at the Liner Hotel, Liverpool with over 70 delegates in attendance. The ISMF Secretariat would like to thank all of our speakers and delegates who came along and joined discussions on the EU’s Blue Growth agenda and future opportunities for the Irish Sea region. Presentations from the day are now available for downloading from the conference web page →.

Annual Conference – Final Programme now available

We are pleased to announce the final programme for our Third Annual Conference on the theme of Blue Growth which takes place in Liverpool next week on Wednesday 2nd July at the Rum Warehouse, Stanley Dock. The conference will feature a welcome address from the new Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Erica Kemp and presentations from representatives of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the British-Irish Commercial Bar Association and Dublin Regional Authority.

Download the Final Programme HERE

For further information see the Conference web page →

Welsh Government launches consultation on Statement of Public Participation for Marine Planning

The Welsh Government has recently published its draft Statement of Public Participation in support of marine planning which sets out the options for how and when people will be consulted on Wales’ marine planning process. The Welsh Government is committed to having its first national marine planning process in place by 2015. Members of the public can now view and respond to the draft document which is available here.

Read the full press release from Alun Davies (link opens in new window).

The consultation runs from 3rd February 2014 to 28th March 2014.

Measuring and Monitoring Biodiversity Offshore (MAMBO) Conference, 12/13th September, Bangor, NI

Ulster Wildlife in conjunction with the British Trust for Ornithology are holding a joint conference, Measuring and Monitoring Biodiversity Offshore (MAMBO). This will be a working conference exploring the need for offshore biodiversity data collection and the methodologies involved. Designed to be informative, stimulating and enjoyable, and to build a network of those involved in offshore activities. This conference is being delivered in the context of the imminent new Northern Ireland Marine Act, and the heightened offshore activity around Northern Ireland and the Irish Sea, particularly within the renewable energy sector and will be held at the Marine Court Hotel, Bangor, Northern Ireland.

The aims of this conference are:

1. To create a network of people who are stakeholders in, or may become engaged in, offshore biodiversity monitoring.
2. Identify the gaps in our knowledge, and make the network aware of these, and develop network ‘buy-in’ to the filling of these gaps.
3. Ensure wide knowledge of the nature and quality of evidence that needs to be gathered.
4. Develop prioritised recommendations for future measuring and monitoring of biodiversity offshore.

The conference will be targeted at professionals, including Government Departments, NGOs, local authorities, consultants and those in the offshore development industry. The programme a includes a highly specialised range of speakers, including Micheal O’Briain (DG Environment), and is being supported by North Down Borough Council, AFBI, NIEA, Marine Division and Loughs Agency, and the dinner has been sponsored by APEM.

Please see HERE for the conference programme and registration details.