Clean Coasts is inviting people around Ireland to have their say on the Public Consultation on the expert advisory group report entitled “Expanding Ireland’s Marine Protected Area Network”, which is currently open until 5pm on Friday 31st July 2021.
The Irish ocean and marine environment are among the most diverse and productive in the world. However, they are being exploited in a way that is not sustainable. To protect Ireland’s marine habitats, we need to manage the activities that occur in certain areas. It has been proven by scientific research that Marine Protected Areas – areas of the ocean where certain activities are not allowed or strictly regulated – are one of the most beneficial tools to safeguarding the ocean, protecting biodiversity and increasing fish stocks.
The “Expanding Ireland’s Marine Protected Area” consultation will help to pave the way forward in designing the process for expanding Ireland’s Marine Protected Areas network, underpinned by new legislation that is fit for purpose, through the public’s views on area-based conservation and environmental protection in our seas and ocean, including what areas and components of Ireland’s marine environment should be protected and how to protect them.
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan, TD said: “We’re still fortunate in Ireland to have a productive, awe-inspiring and beautiful marine environment. But that environment is under increasing threat.
You have a vital role to play in shaping its future. I’m asking you to act now and have your say in how we protect our seas and ocean – in the short term and in the long term.”
Currently, Marine Protected Areas in Ireland cover only 2.1% of our territorial waters. The Irish government has made the commitment to reach 10% of our maritime territorial waters being covered by Marine Protected Areas or as soon as is practical and then to continue to 30% by 2030.
To help members of the public in making submissions to the consultation, Clean Coasts are hosting a workshop on Thursday 22nd July at 7pm. The workshop will try and help address any questions concerning the consultation.