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What Does the Climate Emergency Mean For The Marine Sector?

16th May 2019
macSweeney_podcast
Free diving world champion Umberto Pelizzari raises a flag below water to highlight the plight of life below water Free diving world champion Umberto Pelizzari raises a flag below water to highlight the plight of life below water

According to the Government, as directed by the Dáil, Ireland is now in a climate emergency…added to which are biodiversity and marine eco problems…

That crisis was declared within the parliamentary portals to which 158 TDs are elected to represent the will of the people…. But only six were present when this crisis was officially declared as being in existence…. Not an impressive number and … how much trust can be placed in political announcements when so many of them have not been followed by action?

Bold statements are grand, but action is harder to take to enforce them…… a point made to me when I asked an outspoken commentator on the marine environment to assess the value of the Dáil statement on the climate emergency…. Dr. Simon Berrow is Chief Executive of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and always direct in his opinions…. “What do we want…” is a popular cry at public demonstrations.

So what is wanted in the marine environment?

“We need to try and stop using marine and coastal waters as a sink for all our waste products, from sewage to dry wipes, from persistent pollutants to plastics,” says Dr.Berrow. “When they end up in the sea, they are an order of magnitude harder to remove, so let’s prevent them getting there.”

Yes, let’s do that – because everyone should – but everyone doesn’t and, regrettably, that does include some boat users … It is hard now not to know what is needed to protect the marine environment…. If people value it, they will protect it – without political announcements…..

More on the podcast below

Tom MacSweeney

About The Author

Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He also presents the maritime radio programme This Island Nation on community radio stations around Ireland.

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