The Irish government aims to expand Ireland’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) network from 2.13% to 30% of the country’s maritime area by 2030. On Thursday 31 March, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage published the results of an independent review and analysis of an extensive public consultation on MPAs.
The public consultation undertaken in 2021 encouraged all stakeholders and the wider public to get involved in the process by sharing their views and opinions on future expansion of Ireland’s network of MPAs.
In his comments marking the publication, Minister Darragh O’Brien emphasised:
“Many valuable views and perspectives, covering all stakeholders and the public in general, have been highlighted through this public consultation. The strong support for the MPA process, expressed through these submissions, is a positive indication that stakeholders and the wider public are keenly interested in having a clean, healthy, diverse and productive marine environment. I thank all of those who made a submission for their time, their insights and their substantive input. This is an urgent issue and my department is making strides in the protection of our maritime area. In December the Maritime Area Planning Bill, which represents the biggest reform of marine governance since the foundation of the State, was enacted. We are also progressing the establishment of the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) as a matter of urgency.”
The full Independent Analysis and Report on Marine Protected Area (MPA) Public Consultation Submissions can be found here.
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