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SEAFEST A SWELL SUCCESS
Galway to host SeaFest, Irelands national maritime festival in 2016
With over 10,000 people turning out for SeaFest event in Cork Harbour this weekend, Irelands first national maritime festival is being heralded as a great success. Co-ordinated by the Marine Institute, SeaFest brought together a number of state agencies and organisations to showcase to the public the wonders and fruits of the sea. Ocean literacy, marine recreation, seafood and the science of the sea were key themes at the SeaFest which took place at Ringaskiddy and Haulbowline and in the Port of Cork. More on SeaFest in our August issue
Mccarthy, Douglas, Ailis Kiely, Castlemartyr, Eoghan Kiely, Simon Boylan,
Mimuk Kahapola and Seth Gabriel at a Family Fun Day as part of the Harnessing
our Ocean Wealth conference taking place in Cork Harbour.
Department must urgently draw up plan to harness employment potential of Harbour Centres
Report examines underuse of States six Fishery Harbour Centres
(June 24th): The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine should draw up and implement a plan which will see all vacant or underused properties being developed so as to promote fishing and non-fishing activities in Irelands six Fishery Harbour Centres, according to the Committee of Public Accounts.
In a report published this afternoon, the PAC points to below par asset utilisation at the Centres despite the fact that demand exists for these facilities, meaning employment opportunities are currently not being maximised.
The PAC notes the fractured working relationship between the Department officials and the business communities at the six Centres. It calls for clear segregation between the control functions of the Department and responsibility for development of facilities at the Centres to be put in place and for the Minister for the Marine to appoint a board to oversee the development of the six Fishery Harbours.
The Committee also
heavily criticises the Department for failing to ensure proper maintenance
of the accounts, citing the methods as archaic. It says
that all steps should now be taken to bring the Financial Statements
of the Fishery Harbour Centres up to date.
The systems, processes
and procedures in place to collect income owed to the Fishery Harbour
Centres were seriously deficient and the Department needs to continue
to update its financial management systems so as to ensure that all
charges are invoiced in a timely manner;
Committee Chairman John McGuinness TD says that that the potential of these harbours so strategically important to the promotion and development of our sea fishing and our seafood industries - is not being realised. The Special Report highlights a history of poor management, with facilities left vacant and revenues due to the State not being collected in a timely fashion. The Committee wants to see change so that these six harbours can deliver on their undoubted potential: These six centres should be hubs for our fishing and seafood industry, generating local employment and giving a return to the State for the investment that has been made. This is very much the focus of the Report of the Committee which makes far reaching recommendations that will deliver a better return to the local harbour communities and to the State.
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