Call on Ireland’s Government to Protect its Seas

35,425 signed. Let’s get to 40K.
with Fair Seas

Add your name to call on Minister Darragh O’Brien and the Irish government to enact a strong marine protected area law without delay.

Why does it matter?

Life in Ireland’s ocean is at a crisis point. Marine biodiversity is rapidly declining and the numbers of Ireland’s iconic marine species are plummeting. The now critically endangered angel shark has suffered a staggering 90% population decline since the early 1900s, while Ireland's seabirds are more endangered than ever, with the puffin under serious threat of extinction.

Existing protected area designations are not working. Recent assessments indicate that 65% of Ireland’s coastal habitat types are ecologically unhealthy. Many Irish bays and estuaries have deteriorated significantly in recent years despite falling within protected areas.

Failing to address marine biodiversity loss will guarantee long-term negative impacts on the health and sustainability of the ocean, as well as the social and economic health of communities across Ireland.

The Irish government needs to act with urgency and ambition by delivering a strong national marine protected area (MPA) law to properly protect, conserve, and restore its waters.

The government has committed to protecting 30% of our seas by 2030, but with the new legislation delayed, there is now a serious risk that these targets will not be met. 

Ireland’s new MPA legislation must include:

  1. Ambitious and binding targets committing Ireland to effectively protect 30% of its seas as MPAs by 2030, including a target of 10% “strictly” protected.

  2. A robust management framework which clearly defines: 

    1. What will be protected; 

    2. How it will be protected, and;

    3. Which government agencies are responsible for implementation and management.  

  3. Community engagement at every stage of the MPA designation and management process, based on transparency, inclusiveness, and fairness among local, regional, and national stakeholders.

Draft MPA legislation was promised in July 2023, but there is still no sign of it, despite the fact that 98% of Irish people surveyed want to see more marine protected areas.

Why do we need marine protected areas?

Marine protected areas allow nature to recover. They act as safe havens for a diverse range of marine life, from charismatic whales, dolphins, and basking sharks, to commercially harvested fish, crabs, and lobsters. 

Around the world, well-managed MPAs have proven to restore marine life, store carbon, and rebuild fish populations. Studies have shown that fish biomass increases by up to 670% within protected areas. These fish then spill over into adjacent waters, bolstering local stocks and boosting fisheries catches. 

Human society relies heavily on a healthy ocean for the life-giving services it provides, not to mention that it generates over 50% of the oxygen we breathe.

Why does your support matter?

An overwhelming 76% of Irish people surveyed believe “a lack of political will” is what is getting in the way of creating effective marine protected areas. 

Ireland was supposed to have 10% of its seas designated as marine protected areas by 2020 in line with national and EU commitments, yet nearly four years later, we are still missing that target, with only 9% of waters designated as protected. Even for the 9% of waters that are designated, there is little or no management in place.

We can't allow the government to delay this legislation any longer — the stakes are too high. We need your voice to make sure they know that people across the country are calling for this crucial marine protection law.

Add your name and call on Minister Darragh O’Brien and the Irish government to enact a strong marine protected area law that will safeguard the health and longevity of the marine environment for generations to come.

item?.flag flag 33 minutes ago
Shireen P

The earth is precious just like all the animals that come

item?.flag flag 2 hours ago
Jennifer D

We need to act now to protect our seas, oceans and world

item?.flag flag 5 hours ago

lets keep the cleanliness of our ocean. Love the mother nature which God given to us to protect it to love it to earn it

item?.flag flag 6 hours ago
Sabrina M

I care

item?.flag flag 10 hours ago
Janet B

i care about the planet

item?.flag flag 10 hours ago
Rachel m

we are killing all of nature there will be none left

item?.flag flag 13 hours ago
Oliver J

i as a child still want beautiful seas when i am an adult

item?.flag flag 14 hours ago
Mrs s

i am signing because i want to help to make this world to live with healthy enviorment to each and every living creature

item?.flag flag 15 hours ago
Wheatley D

Future generations in Ireland deserve to not only see the beauty of a protected ecosystem, but also benefit from its resources… which can only happen…

item?.flag flag 15 hours ago
Justin T

protect the seas

item?.flag flag 19 hours ago
Johan S

I want to stop all commercial fishing. you want to eat it catch it yourself

item?.flag flag 23 hours ago
Jacqueline M

we need to protect our sea and all the marine life. we are surrounded and protected by our seas and we / you need to look after it . now!!!

item?.flag flag 1 day ago
Jacqueline S

we can’t survive on this planet without a healthy ocean and we need to stop killing the dolphins like that

item?.flag flag 1 day ago
audrey p

i love biodiversity and they should have the right to live.

item?.flag flag 1 day ago
Gracie O

there's to much waste the world does not need to take soo much from the sea, money is not everything.

item?.flag flag 1 day ago
Daria F

this is a cause close to my heart. we need to protect out environment

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Jane G

we need every part of Mother Nature.

item?.flag flag 1 day ago
Candice L

I'm signing because it's our job to protect our planet.

item?.flag flag 1 day ago
Kaylin C

the ocean isn’t ours we have no right to be taking anything from it.

item?.flag flag 1 day ago
Nikita S

Humans are ruining something so magical like the ocean and all the living creatures inside it and i am doing this cause i want our future generations…

item?.flag flag 2 days ago
Achmat J

The sea deos

item?.flag flag 2 days ago
Hamilton C

I live in England but am Irish and want to protect Ireland's wildlife and seas from destruction

item?.flag flag 2 days ago
Lisa F

I am signing because we need the ocean!!!

item?.flag flag 2 days ago
Alexandra C

The sea covers most of the planet! We need to protect it!

item?.flag flag 2 days ago
Jennifer A

It is necessary for our survival, as well as theirs

Add your name

Your action plan

Three ways you can use your voice today to help secure 30% protection in Ireland.

  1. Urge France to Effectively Protect its Maritime Spaces

    103,604 signed.
  2. Tell World Leaders to Protect 30% of the Ocean by 2030

    120,912 signed.
  3. Protect the Ocean by Supporting the High Seas Treaty

    194,334 signed.

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