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Displaying items by tag: World Ocean Conference

The inaugural World Ocean Conference has been told that three-quarters of the Irish public believe that marine ecosystems and the protection and restoration of marine species should be Government policy.

This claim was made by the conference organisers, the Fair Seas environmental organisation, based on a survey of over 1,000 adults.

The conference at Cork City Hall is being attended by delegates mainly from Ireland but also with overseas representatives. It is discussing the next steps in developing Marine Protected Areas, on which Government legislation is expected.

The majority of the attendance is from environmental and non-government organisations. There are also commercial, State, leisure and tourism interests.

The organisers, Fair Seas, outlined the results of their Red C survey into the attitude of Irish adults to the sea and oceans. It shows, the organisation says, that three-quarters of people "believe the government should prioritise fully protecting valuable marine ecosystems. More than half of people surveyed say they would be more likely to vote for a party or candidate that takes an interest in the health of our seas and ocean."

The conference at Cork City Hall is being attended by delegates mainly from Ireland but also with overseas representativesThe conference at Cork City Hall is being attended by delegates mainly from Ireland but also with overseas representatives

The survey was carried out over five days last month as an online poll. Findings include :

Just over a third (39%) of people surveyed believe Irish seas are healthy.

Almost two-thirds of people (62%) believe Irish seas have worsened in the past decade.

A majority of people (77%) agree that restoring the seas and ocean will protect marine biodiversity and help to tackle climate change.

Three-quarters (74%) of people agree that protection and restoration of marine wildlife populations and their habitats must be a priority for the government.

Three-quarters (74%) of people believe that up to 10% of Ireland’s Marine Protected Areas should be fully protected where no damaging activities occur.

72% of people believe all fishing activities in Ireland should be low impact and within scientific advice limits.

More than half (56%) would be more likely to vote for a party or candidate that takes an interest in the health of our seas and ocean.

The Campaign Manager of Fair Seas, Aoife O'Mahony said: “It’s amazing to see that most people care for, value and respect our seas. "

The conference was told by keynote speaker Professor Rashid Sumaila from the University of British Columbia, a well-known and respected ocean economist, that loss of biodiversity in the oceans would have human consequences. Speaking about 'economics and the future of fishing" he said: "We should 'abandon the notion that we have to take everything all at once." He urged "don't fish orphans of the ocean" and said that deep sea mining should be avoided.

"Now is the time for action, “Our fisheries are vanishing and the ocean is in trouble for all sorts of reasons."

He suggested a "coming together" of environmental NGOs, civil society, scientists and businesses "to make sure we implement the agreements that have been reached. We have the capacity; we have the brains, the resources and empathy to turn things around and make the ocean sustainable.”

Karen Ciesielski, CEO of Irish Environment Network, said: “Ireland has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get this right and show leadership by adopting legislation that will protect marine habitats and species for generations to come."

Fair Seas campaign is led by a coalition of Ireland’s leading environmental non-governmental organisations and networks.

It is funded by Oceans 5, Blue Nature Alliance, BFCT and The Wyss Foundation.

While the conference is well-attended, it is dominated by environmental organisations with little challenging voices to their proposals.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Calves Week Regatta takes place in Schull in early August, continuing the annual tradition in West Cork since the inception of the Schull Harbour Sailing Club in 1884.

In more recent years, a more compact schedule as an alternative to the older two-week even has proved popular.

The four-day Calves Week Championships with the usual mix of courses taking in the Fastnet Rock and many of Carbery's Hundred Isles, together with laid courses in Roaringwater Bay is one of Irish sailing's enduring fixtures. 

A daily prize-giving takes place on Main Street in Schull, which sees a nautical festival theme for the village organised by local businesses.