Update on 17 December 2012
Following the announcement that the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht are proposing to declare a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for harbour porpoises off the Dublin coast the IWDG sought clarification from the EU regarding the proposed seismic survey and drilling off the Kish Bank.
The proposed SAC stretches from Rockabill to the north and Dalkey Island to the south and offshore to 5° 58′ to the east, thus encompassing some of the area proposed for a 2D seismic survey.
According to Liam Cashman of the European Commission “Under Ireland’s Habitats Regulations, a proposed site of Community interest is subject to the same legal requirements as an SCI, including a requirement of appropriate assessment where a plan or project is likely to have a significant effect. Given this, and given that seismic surveys would be likely to have a significant effect, it would seem necessary for an appropriate assessment to be carried out”.
Given this opinion the IWDG cannot see how this planned 2D survey can continue until a full Appropriate Assessment of the potential impact is carried out. The IWDG would like to see details of a full pre and post survey for harbour porpoise, including statc acoustic monitoring in the event that the seismic survey still goes ahead.
For more information, and to see IWDG’s original press release about their concern over the seismic surveys, click here.