The visit represents a key step in the Commissioner's 'listening tour' on international ocean governance, following the consultation launched last month.
Ireland has taken an early lead on maritime policy: its 'Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth' strategy makes Ireland one of Europe’s frontrunners in developing a genuine nation-wide maritime development strategy. Mr Vella will attend the 2nd Annual Our Ocean Wealth Conference in Cork, where he will deliver the keynote speech. The Commissioner will also meet with the Irish Prime Minister, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, who will himself attend the Ocean Wealth event.
In Galway, Mr Vella will exchange views with industry, NGOs and researchers from the Irish Marine Institute. He will also meet fishermen during a visit to the fishing village of Kinsale.
Ireland exemplifies how a strong and sustainable maritime economy can create jobs and foster innovation. With a turnover of about 4.5 billion euros a year, the Irish maritime economy has played a significant role in Ireland's recent economic recovery. It is growing nearly twice as fast as the overall economy: by 9% between 2010 and 2012 and by over 8% for 2012 to 2014.