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MISSION BLUE ANNOUNCES IRELAND’S FIRST ‘HOPE SPOT’ Greater Skellig Coast deemed critical to the health of the ocean by global organisation
A large swathe of ocean off the south west coast of Ireland has been added to a list of ‘Hope Spots’ by a global marine conservation movement. Mission Blue is led by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle and now has a network of 148 Hope Spots across the globe. It aims to inspire public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of Marine Protected Areas.
Hope Spots are special places that are scientifically identified as critical to the health of the ocean. Existing spots include the Galápagos Islands, the Great Barrier Reef, the Northwest Passage and parts of Antarctica. Some locations are already formally protected, while others still need defined protection.
The Greater Skellig Coast stretches from Kenmare Bay in Co Kerry to Loop Head in Co Clare and covers an area of roughly 7,000km2 of Irish coastal waters. It is home to critically endangered sharks, globally important seabird colonies, and animals threatened with extinction which rely on these areas for breeding and feeding.
The area has been championed by Fair Seas, a coalition of Ireland’s leading environmental non-governmental organisations and networks, with the support of Sea Synergy, a marine awareness and activity centre based in Kerry. Fair Seas has been campaigning for the Government to designate a minimum of 30% of Irish waters as Marine Protected Areas (MPA) by 2030. The Greater Skellig Coast is one of 16 ‘Areas of Interest’ identified for possible MPA designation by the organisation.
Mission Blue was founded by American oceanographer, explorer and author Dr Sylvia Earle. She has been National Geographic’s Explorer in Residence since 1998 and was named the first Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine.
Dr. Sylvia Earle, Founder of Mission Blue says, “This Hope Spot is being announced at a crucial time for Ireland because in 2023, new national Marine Protected Area (MPA) legislation will be introduced for the first time. 81% of Irish people believe that we need to protect, conserve and restore the ocean. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Sinead Aherne, Healy Communications on behalf of Fair Seas 📱087 7143129 or 📨 sinead@healycommunications. Here is the link to the video on the Fair Seas YouTube Channel (you can use this to embed the video on your website or in blogs and newsletters): youtu.be/