New Report on Harbour Porpoise in UK waters

2nd Oct 2012

A new report commissioned by WWF in the UK on harbour porpoise has been published. The report covers the waters off Northern Ireland and is critical of the UK in failing to designate any sites for the protection of this species, despite being required to under EU law.  There are two sites (SACs) in the Republic for the protection of harbour porpoises: Blaskets Islands, Co Kerry and Roaringwater Bay, Co Cork.

The UK has identified 26 sites in which the harbour porpoise is listed as a non-qualifying feature and thus they are not entitled to be considered during an Appropriate Assessment which is an environmental impact assessment within or adjacent to an SAC or SPA. Thus developers would not need to evaluate the potential adverse effects on the harbour porpoise. While it is recognised that harbour porpoise are widespread around the UK (and Ireland), the new report provides a methodology for submitting sites. 

Recently the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) have put forward Skerries and Causeway as an SAC for harbour porpoise and the IWDG fully support this initiative. IWDG data was instrumental in identifying this site as important for harbour porpoise and supporting its proposal as a qualifying interest at this site.

The IWDG would like to congratulate WWF on commissioning this report and  NIEA for its initiative in submitting the only proposed site for the protection of harbour porpoise in UK waters.

Please find report on:

http://www.wwf.org.uk/research_centre/?6225/protecting-the-harbour-porpoise-in-uk-seas