The UK borough of Poole will host the European Maritime Day in 2017.
This internationally important maritime event is held annually on 20 May to showcase the importance of the sea in our everyday lives – enabling transportation of food and vital supplies, providing jobs and a thriving economy and enhancing leisure and relaxation opportunities. The conference brings together key stakeholders involved in the maritime sector from shipbuilding to offshore energy, the coastal environment and tourism to address the major challenges they face. As part of Poole’s bid, four key subject areas were proposed for the conference theme – renewable energy; spatial planning and integrated coastal zone management; safety and security and protecting coastal ecosystems. The theme will be selected nearer the time as topical interests can fluctuate.
Cllr Xena Dion, Portfolio Holder for the Local Economy, Transportation and the Environment, Borough of Poole, said: "This is a unique opportunity to show the world what we have to offer here in Poole. We want it to be a remarkable and memorable event with plans for tall ships, flotillas, a pageant, international shipping, yacht and power boat racing, interactive maritime events, nautical festivities and so much more.
The real focus of the event is the two-day conference which is about moving forward the European maritime policy. This is important in terms of all European Union countries working together to ensure a number of factors - our seas are safe and secure to enable free movement of our essential freight and trade, that coastal erosion and development is managed appropriately to prevent tidal flooding and that resources such as fish, minerals and energy are obtained in a sustainable way to protect the seas and oceans for the future.
The conference will be accompanied by a maritime festival lasting several days and gives Poole the opportunity to celebrate its maritime heritage on a scale never seen before here.