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Ireland's Contribution of Almost €10m to Address Developing Countries' Ocean Challenges Welcomed

29th June 2022
Ireland is being represented at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan
Ireland is being represented at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan.

The Fair Seas campaign has welcomed Ireland’s contribution of almost 10 million euro to address ocean challenges faced by developing countries, including small island developing states.

The funding was confirmed earlier this week by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney on the eve of the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

Ireland is being represented at the conference by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan.

Solutions for a sustainably managed ocean involving green technology, along with innovative uses of marine resources, are being discussed at the international gathering.

Fair Seas said that access to adequate funding and resources is “essential for small island states to tackle the myriad of ocean threats which impact local biodiversity and communities”.

“This substantial financial investment shows Ireland’s support for conserving ocean biodiversity globally, and Fair Seas look forward to seeing similar investments in marine conservation efforts at national level,” the network’s campaign manager Aoife O’Mahony said.

“The Irish Government has committed to protecting 30% of our ocean by 2030, yet progress towards that target is lacking, while 65% of monitored coastal habitats are in unfavourable condition,” Fair Seas noted.

“Ireland needs to turn the tide on this decline. By accelerating the conversation with stakeholders, local communities and groups on how it will introduce new marine protected areas (MPAs), Ireland will not only help achieve healthy and productive ecosystems locally but will be doing our bit for marine protection and conservation at the European and global level too,” it said.

Fair Seas has been campaigning for a network of MPAs covering at least 30 per cent of Irish waters by 2030.

The campaign is led by a coalition of environmental non-governmental organisations and networks including Irish Wildlife Trust, BirdWatch Ireland, Sustainable Water Network, Friends of the Irish Environment, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Coomhola Salmon Trust, Irish Environmental Network and Coastwatch.

The Fair Seas campaign is funded by Oceans 5, Blue Nature Alliance, BFCT and The Wyss Foundation.

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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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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