FAIR SEAS HIGHLIGHTS URGENT NEED TO PROTECT IRELAND’S OCEAN
Fair Seas highlights urgent need to protect Ireland’s ocean at Dun Laoghaire event. Fair Seas says time is running out to protect Ireland’s marine environment. There are just 16 Dáil sitting days left this year and the organisation is calling on the Government to enact the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Bill without delay.
The coalition of Ireland’s leading non-governmental organisations and networks wants to see binding targets committing to effectively 30% of the seas around Ireland by 2030, with 10% strictly protected.
Dr Donal Griffin, Marine Policy Officer with Fair Seas was one of the speakers at a Green Foundation Ireland seminar about Ocean Warming and Marine Biodiversity at the National Maritime Museum of Ireland in Dún Laoghaire this week.
The event highlighted how climate change is affecting earth’s oceans, with marine warming in the North Atlantic increasing by 5 degrees this year according to UK-based scientists. This has put at risk the survival of kelp forests and other important habitats and species, which play a crucial role as a home for marine biodiversity around Ireland, Great Britain and Europe’s Atlantic coast.
Dr Griffin said:
“Ireland’s marine area is enormous, however, its stewardship by successive Governments has failed to deliver its full ecological, economic or social potential. At the end of the day, healthy seas help tackle the biodiversity and climate crisis. Healthy seas are better able to mitigate the impact of climate change at global scale by regulating the climate, sequestering carbon and absorbing atmospheric heat. Healthy seas are able to withstand and quickly recover from extreme events. They are also better positioned to help coastal communities adapt to the social and economic changes brought about by climate change.”
“The MPA Bill was promised before the summer recess. We’re now quickly approaching the Christmas break with just 16 days left when the Dáil will sit before the end of this year. This legislation needs to be robust, fit-for-purpose and it’s essential we get it right. We want to see stakeholder engagement at every stage, clear delivery timeframes and a robust management framework, with targeted, site-specific measures to ensure MPAs deliver for nature.”
Other speakers at the event included former Green Party MEP Grace O’Sullivan; Karin Dubsky, Director of Coastwatch and Dr Saule Akhmetkaliyeva from the Blue Carbon Research Lab at UCD.
For more information about Fair Seas visit https://fairseas.ie/