Fair Seas Event In Cork To Hig...


Fair Seas Event In Cork To Highlight What Ireland Needs For Stronger Marine Protection

RedFM News
RedFM News

12:34 31 Oct 2023

Share this article

Fair Seas and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) are hosting a special event in Skibbereen this week to celebrate the rich waters off the southwest coast. Organisers are inviting the public to attend a talk about the whales, dolphins and porpoises that call this part of the country home. They will also hear about how they can play their part in helping to protect these creatures.

The free event takes place at the West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen, Co Cork at 6:30 pm on Friday 3rd November. A team of scientists from the Fair Seas campaign and the IWDG will give a series of talks about the aquatic mammals known as cetaceans, IWDG’s work this summer to monitor our seas and the Fair Seas campaign to protect, conserve, and restore Ireland’s unique marine environment.

The event will include an update on the latest Marine Protected Area (MPA) legislation and the issue of offshore renewables and spatial squeeze. The evening will end with a panel discussion where attendees can ask questions. The event is free and open to all.

In recent days, Fair Seas presented a petition of 11,758 signatures from Ireland to the Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD. The coalition also called for the Government to respect the voices of the public, who are demanding the urgent introduction of strong legislation to protect Ireland’s oceans.

Rebecca Dudley said, “The marine life off the southwest coast of Ireland is truly spectacular. This year, IWDG conducted surveys on our research vessel Celtic Mist along our south and west coasts. These surveys highlighted the importance of our marine environment and our need to protect it. Our waters support huge biodiversity which was clear from the surveys with almost 500 sightings of 11 different species. We urgently need effective legislation to preserve these waters for generations to come.”

Aoife O’ Mahony, Fair Seas Campaign Manager added, “As an island nation we have a responsibility to conserve and restore our marine environment as we strive to combat the biodiversity and climate crises. The research carried out by the IWDG is fascinating and highlights why we need to protect our marine life. Unfortunately, progress is not happening fast enough and we’re still waiting to see the MPA Bill that was promised before the summer recess. This legislation needs to be published now and it needs to be strong, legally binding and capable of doing the job it sets out to do. In our recent Ocean Literacy Survey, 98% of people support Marine Protected Area (MPA) designation to some degree with 76% highlighting the lack of political will as the biggest threat to our ocean.”

Ireland’s biodiversity is reaching a tipping point. For decades, Ireland has lacked effective Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) — leading to widespread habitat degradation and an alarming decline in marine species. The now critically endangered angel shark population has plummeted by 90% since the early 1900s, while puffins face the threat of extinction. In fact, recent studies show that 65% of Ireland’s coastal habitats are considered ecologically unhealthy.

Fair Seas wants to see binding targets committing to effectively protecting 30% of the seas around Ireland by 2030, with 10% strictly protected. The group is calling for stakeholder engagement at every stage, clear delivery timeframes and a robust management framework, with targeted, site-specific measures to ensure MPAs deliver for nature.

Share this article

Read more about

Maritime Life In Cork Redfm News Rural Life In Cork

You might like