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Marine Group Calls for Halt to French Military Exercises Near Irish Waters

22nd June 2022
Patrick Murphy, chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation
Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation chief Patrick Murphy welcomed the relocation of French naval vessels outside Ireland’s EEZ - but the IWDG says marine wildlife may still be threatened by the impact of live fire at sea

French military exercises near Irish waters which began yesterday (Tuesday 21 June) could have a significant impact on marine wildlife, says a marine group that’s called for a halt to the manoeuvres.

The exercises, which are taking place over a number of days this week, have already been relocated out of Ireland’s EEZ, as the Irish Examiner reports — though the French Embassy said in a statement that “a small piece of the southern extremity of Ireland’s EEZ” may be affected.

After voicing their concerns over the planned live-fire drills off Ireland’s Southwest Coast, West Cork fishers welcomed the changes.

Patrick Murphy, chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation — which is leading calls for a moratorium on military drills within the EEZ — said: “We don’t agree with these exercises but this was the best scenario we could have reached and we did it within 24 hours.”

However, as TheJournal.ie reports, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has warned that marine wildlife in Ireland’s waters remains vulnerable to the impact of detonating missiles at sea, which may “cause a large sound wave which can esonify a wide area with a massive acoustic shock wave”.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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