Three-quarters of Irish people want the Government to prioritise protecting marine wildlife

Michael Bolton

A survey has shown that three-quarters of people believe the Government should prioritise fully protecting valuable marine ecosystems.

The RED C survey was carried out by Fair Seas, ahead of a gathering Cork City Hall today to discuss the next steps for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Ireland.

The survey found that 56 per cent of people would be more likely to vote for a party or candidate that takes an interest in the health of our seas and ocean.

Just over 39 per cent of people surveyed believe Irish seas are healthy, while 62 per cent of people believe Irish seas have worsened in the last decade.

The survey also found 72 per cent of people believe all fishing activities in Ireland should be low impact and within scientific advice limits.

Aoife O’Mahony, Campaign Manager for Fair Seas says, “It’s amazing to see that most people care for, value and respect our seas and ocean, with the majority of people saying in repeated surveys that they want to see more and improved protections for Ireland’s marine habitats and species. Ireland’s new Marine Protected Area legislation is due before the Oireachtas in the coming weeks.

"This will allow Ireland to meet its national and international target of protecting at least 30 per cent of our waters by 2030. This legislation must not only detail how we effectively manage any new MPAs in the future, but how we better implement protected sites that currently exist. It’s only by having effective MPAs and using all our sea and ocean areas sustainably, that we can address the biodiversity and climate emergency."