Chance to turn around the poor status of our marine environment

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The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has made a submission to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Article 19 Report published by the Department of the Environment. This report is intended to make an initial assessment of the environmental condition of our seas, define what ‘good environmental status’ is, and set targets to achieve this status by 2020. While welcoming the report the IWT is alarmed that no targets have been set for achieving good status of our biodiversity, food webs and seafloor integrity. Since the health of our oceans depend on its myriad life forms to omit this target, and conclude in its Executive Summary that ‘the overall quality of Ireland’s marine environment is good’, means the Government is either trying to pull a fast one, or seriously believes that problems don’t exist.

The IWT’s Campaign Officer Pádraic Fogarty says “Our seas have suffered a massive loss of biodiversity since the dawn of industrial fishing with many species already threatened or on the verge of extinction from our waters[1]. The repeated trawling of the sea bed leaves little in its wake and takes place even inside so-called special areas of conservation. We can turn things around but time is not on our side.”

The IWT believes that only with the designation of large areas of sea where damaging fishing is excluded and legal protection for marine species can our ocean’s be rebuilt to their former glory.


[1] E.g. the Angel Shark, Common Skate, & Spurdog while the Sturgeon has been extinct for over 100 years

If you’d like more information about this topic, please contact Pádraic Fogarty 0872959811