New Convention to Strengthen Ireland’s International Role in Maritime Safety
Ireland has ratified the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation which will support maritime safety around our coasts. As shipping and offshore activity continues to grow, the Convention will enable collaboration and development of consistent standards and practises at international level.
The Convention changes the status of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities or IALA from a Non-Governmental Organisation to an Intergovernmental Organisation (IGO). The status of IGO will give further weight to the standards and recommendations of IALA, leading to greater compliance and navigational safety.
Marking the ratification of the IALA Convention, Minister of State Jack Chambers said, “the transport of critical resources by sea enables the majority of our international trade. The last few years have illustrated Ireland’s reliance on marine supply chains with over 90% of goods by volume transported into our ports. New opportunities in offshore wind will bring huge benefits and must be planned and managed carefully in conjunction with fisheries, leisure and marine protected areas.”
“The offshore environment will be busier while physical and electronic aids to navigation will continue to support the protection of lives, trade, property and the environment around our coast. Ireland’s membership of IALA, along with the work of my department at the International Maritime Organisation, will ensure that Ireland contributes proactively at international level to the safe and sustainable development of our shipping and maritime sector.”
Irish Lights Chief Executive, Yvonne Shields O’Connor said, “we welcome the Irish Government’s support for the ratification of the IALA convention. Increased digitalisation, connectivity, cyber security, expansion of offshore infrastructure, developments such as autonomous vessels and changes in trade patterns and climate are just some of the key issues being addressed at IALA.”
“As the organisation responsible for delivering essential navigation safety services around the coast of Ireland Irish Lights understands the importance of global cooperation and coordination in harmonising marine navigation and related services. Ireland though Irish Lights has been a member of IALA since its establishment in 1957 and we look forward to continuing to play our part in this important work.”