A report ,by the Marine Protected Area Advisory Group for the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, has been published that summarises relevant information and current thinking about Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in an Irish context and makes recommendations for the expansion of Irelands network of MPAs based on engagement with and the considerations of key stakeholders in Ireland’s marine environment.
Included in the report is a proposed operational definition of MPAs:
‘A geographically defined area of marine character or influence which is protected through legal means for the purpose of conservation of specified species, habitats or ecosystems and their associated ecosystem services and cultural values, and managed with the intention of achieving stated objectives over the long term’.
The report provides guiding principles on the expansion of Ireland’s MPA network in order to achieve the ultimate aim of Good Environmental Status under the Marine Strategic Framework Directive. Other objectives include sustainable fisheries management, resilience to climate change and effective Marine Spatial Planning. Improved Governance structures and processes and stakeholder engagement will be key to improving the framework for Ireland’s marine environments and to secure its benefits for future generations.
An Fóram Uisce Submission to the 2020 consultation on the National Marine Planning Framework and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive is available at the following link: