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Qualified Welcome for Nature Restoration Law Text To Restore Land and Seas

13th November 2023

The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has welcomed the agreement on the text of the Nature Restoration Law, the first-ever binding EU law to restore 20% of European land and seas by 2030.

The IWT’s marine advocacy officer Grace Carr had said it is “a relief to know that a deal has been struck, although a much-weakened version will not be enough to combat the biodiversity and climate crisis we are facing”.

“It is important that there will be timelines in place to restrict destructive fishing practices in the EU and that member states show the ambition and resolution needed to ensure targets are met on land and sea,” she has said.

The negotiations between the EU Parliament, EU Commission and the Council on the text concluded late last week in Brussels.

“ The text is not as strong as the Commission's original proposal. However, all ecosystems (including agriculture, which was previously deleted from the Parliament’s text) have been included, albeit with many loopholes,” the IWT says.

“The final text has not yet been released, and so we do not know the full outcome as of yet,” the IWT said in an initial reaction.

“The next steps for this law will be an EU Parliament Environment Committee vote at the end of November, after which the law must be passed by a majority of MEPs in the full sitting of the European Parliament,” it says.

“Restoration of our damaged and degraded habitats is essential if we are to save nature within Ireland and Europe and secure the many direct benefits nature provides society, such as crop pollination, flood prevention and soil health,” the IWT says.

It has called on EU member states, MEPs and the public to “continue supporting this law in its final stages”.

Published in Marine Wildlife Team

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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!