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Corrib Gas Field Survey 'Breaches EU Directive' Says IWDG

1st June 2012
Corrib Gas Field Survey 'Breaches EU Directive' Says IWDG

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Department of Energy could be in beach of the EU habitats directive for licensing a seismic survey off the West coast without providing adequate protection for marine wildlife.

As The Irish Times reports, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has lodged a complaint with the European Commission and the Department of Energy over the survey licence.

Shell E&P Ireland Limited is scheduled to carry out the 3D seismic survey over the Corrib Gas Field off Co Mayo from today 1 June, as previously reported on Afloat.ie. Weather permitting, the survey would be completed around the middle of September.

The waters around Ireland are designated as a whale and dolphin sanctuary. According to the IWDG, 21 cetacean species have been recorded off the Mayo coast, including endangered species such as the northern right whale, fin whale and humpback whale.

Under the EU habitats directive, member states are mandated to establish strict protections for marine wildlife, which includes prohibiting “deliberate disturbance... particularly during the period of breeding, rearing, hibernation and migration”.

The Irish Times 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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