[/tab][tab]The following are some of the work plans for the Marine Working Group:
- Natura 2000 sites and MPAs: Members of the Marine Group have, collectively or as individuals, raised the matter of poorly managed Natura 2000 sites with various agencies. On the 24th of March a conference was held to raise awareness of these conservation areas, to consider what they could deliver to fisheries in terms of biomass and diversity and to explore through engagement with stakeholders, what steps are required to get a sufficient protection programme underway.
- Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD): Ireland is one of two countries which, to date, have not finalised their plans for this initiative. The HOPE Conference which took place in Brussels on 3rd and 4th of March, organised by DG Environment, adopted a wide perspective on marine planning and could be considered under MSFD. Issues dealt with touched on a Marine Spatial Planning Directive and marine pollution and dumping at sea.
- Protection of Marine Species: A list of vulnerable and protected species is growing and has been considered and prepared by members of the Marine Group. Pádraic Fogarty of the Irish Wildlife Trust has undertaken a publication that presents the extent of this in relation to the status of certain species on a global scale.
Overall, the Environment Pillar Marine Group is calling for urgent action to protect and restore marine habitats and biota including fish stocks around Ireland. The Pillar welcomes the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as one of the key means to achieve this and urges that full timely implementation is now prioritised by government and stakeholders.
[/tab][tab]Member Organisations and nominated persons participating in the Marine Working Group:
Coastwatch Ireland: Karin Dubsky
Irish Wildlife Trust: Pádraic Fogarty
Irish Seal Sanctuary: Johnny Woodlock and John Daly
Birdwatch Ireland: Melanie Gomes
An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland: Andrew Jackson
Irish Whale and Dolphin Group: Dr. Nóirín Burke
Sustainable Water Network (SWAN): Sinéad O’Brien
Friends of the irish Environment: Enda Conneely
Convenor: Edward Fahy[/tab][/tabs]