John Kerry to speak at Cork 'blue economy' conference

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry will be a keynote speaker at a Cork conference on the so-called "blue economy" in June.

Mr Kerry, who lost the US Presidential election to George W Bush in 2004 before being appointed Secretary of State by Barack Obama in 2013, will speak on climate change and marine management at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit in City Hall on June 9 and 10.

The conference will include more than 30 representatives from island states around the world, including senior political representatives from the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean, as well as more than 500 national and international delegates.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said: "As an island nation, Ireland is committed to managing our ocean wealth in a sustainable and efficient way, and we have so much in common with island nations around the globe."

The blue economy is said to relate to all economic activities related to oceans, seas and coastal areas. It covers fisheries, shipbuilding and tourism as well as emerging industries, including ocean energy and biotechnology.

According to the EU, it is worth €566bn and employs 3.5 million people across the bloc.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said "shared natural resources of our seas and the global oceans transcend national boundaries" and sustainable management and protection was essential.

The Government has set out its plan to double the value of the marine economy’s contribution to the economy by 2030.

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