A public consultation process has started on how to harness the potential of Ireland's vast marine resource to tap into an estimated €1 trillion global market for marine products and services.

The sectors being discussed include seafood, tourism, shipping, oil and gas, renewable ocean energy and new applications for health, medicine and technology.

At the launch of the consultation, Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine Simon Coveney said people in Ireland need to change the way they think about the sea.

He said they need to look for new opportunities to harness the potential of the country's 220m acre marine resource.

Mr Coveney said the Government is determined to generate the momentum to drive forward a new era of sustainable economic development across the maritime sectors and use these opportunities to assist in Ireland's recovery.

This public consultation, he said, represents a significant step in a process to develop an integrated marine plan for Ireland and move from generating only 1.2% of GDP from this vast resource, which covers an area ten times the size of Ireland's land mass.