BirdWatch Ireland is a proud partner of the Fair Seas campaign, which seeks to protect, conserve and restore Ireland’s unique marine environment. With Fair Seas, we are advocating for strong and ambitious Marine Protected Area (MPA) legislation in Ireland, that will effectively protect our marine environment, and that would provide the opportunity for our species, habitats and coastal communities the opportunity to thrive.
Seabirds, as top marine predators exposed to all threats affecting the ocean, provide us with an insight into the health of, and pressures facing, our marine environment throughout their lifetimes. However, in Ireland, 23 out of 24 breeding seabird species have been identified as priority species for recovery resources. These 23 species are assessed as either Red or Amber List Birds of Conservation Concern (2020-2026).
Under EU regulations, Ireland has failed to meet Good Environmental Status (GES) for Biodiversity, Commercial Fish and Shellfish, and Sea-floor Integrity, while the environmental status of Food Webs in Ireland’s marine environment is unknown. Protecting and restoring our marine environment through effective MPAs can play a very significant role in the addressing the climate and biodiversity emergencies. Establishing effective and well managed MPAs is also a crucial part of our existing obligations and commitments.
Fair Seas is made up of a coalition of Irish environmental NGOs, including BirdWatch Ireland, Coastwatch, Coomhola Salmon Trust, Irish Environmental Network, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Irish Wildlife Trust and the Sustainable Water Network (SWAN). Fair Seas is funded by Oceans 5, the Becht Family Charitable Trust, Blue Nature Alliance and Wyss Foundation.