Last week Fair Seas had the honour of presenting the very first ‘Ocean Communicator Award’ to three winning groups of students at MTU.

Over the past few months, Fair Seas has been collaborating with MTU Marketing & International Business and over one hundred of their final year marketing students. Members of the Fair Seas team gave seminars on our mission to help better protect the ocean around Ireland and our ambition to share this message with as many people as possible.

Man giving lecture

The students at MTU were tasked with developing a marketing and communications plan for the official launch of  Fair Seas, happening in June 2022, and to help us communicate the message of #ocean #conservation to people right across the island of Ireland. Cause based marketing and communications were relatively new fields for the students and this project gave them the chance to work a little outside their comfort zone.

“It was an amazing experience working on a campaign that was for such a good cause. It educated me on how important it is to work on something that benefits all of us and our future!” – Nicole Lynam, Ballyvolane

This new and innovative opportunity allowed students to explore the world of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the importance of using storytelling to share Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) goals for potential future employers.

Where a company looks for annual turnover and growth, in a monetary sense, Fair Seas looks for annual increases in ocean literacy, ocean awareness and engagement. For growth, Fair Seas looks for growth in people’s personal connection to the ocean and their desire to protect it.

“Fair Seas is not a simple environmental campaign, it is a mindset shift. We need to generate a collective groundswell of passion that sees people all over Ireland calling for at least 30% of Irish waters to be protected by 2030.” – Aoife O’Mahony, Fair Seas Campaign Manager.

Group of students and staff holding awards

Collaborations such as this are a powerful tool in building a movement of ocean stewardship across Ireland, while also adding a diverse and challenging learning experience for students entering a working world with a growing NGO sector in need of bright marketing and communications professionals.

“Thoroughly enjoyed working on this campaign. It has really opened our eyes to the importance of protecting our ocean and we hope to bring these learnings forward to not just our future marketing careers but also our everyday lives!” – Chloe Connolly, Mitchelstown

Speaking about the collaboration Dr Pio Fenton, Head of the Department of Marketing and International Business said: “Our students thrive on this hands-on learning experience, working on projects where they get the opportunity to develop solutions to real marketing problems. This type of collaboration ensures our graduates are work-ready.”

Dr. Fenton continued “I’m delighted our final year marketing students got to work with Fair Seas at such an important juncture. Eight student groups presented their proposals to the campaign team today. The standard was incredibly high, and we’re all excited to see their recommendations come to life as Fair Seas is officially launched.”

Aoife O’Mahony, Fair Seas Campaign Manager and Jack O’ Donovan Trá, Fair Seas Communications Officer had the difficult task of choosing the top three groups. Each group of students added a unique angle to the inspiring morning of #marketing ideas and #communications solutions. After careful deliberation, three winning groups were selected.

Group of students and staff holding awards

First prize received the Fair Seas Ocean Communicator Award and every student from the top three groups received a locally handmade Fair Seas pottery cup from Susan Herlihy Ceramics of Middleton, Cork.

A huge congratulations to everyone involved. Ideas from every group of students will be put to use in Fair Seas communications and campaigns.

We are all connected to the ocean, even if we don’t always realise it. The inspiring ideas of the students at MTU will guide us in helping people all over Ireland realise that connection for themselves.

Keep up to date with Fairseas and MPA news and developments, by subscribing up to our newsletter here. Make sure to follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

We also welcome you to join us in Cork on 8th June, where we are hosting our inaugural World Ocean Day conference. We are bringing ocean advocates, government, industry and key stakeholders together to map out the next steps for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Irish waters.


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