The state of our marine biodiversity

21st Feb 2019

The National Biodiversity Conference is underway in Dublin Castle. 

It attempts to "BRINGING TOGETHER ACADEMICS, ARTISTS, BUSINESSES, COMMUNITY GROUPS, CONSERVATIONISTS, ECOLOGISTS, FARMERS, FISHERS, FORESTERS, GOVERNMENT, LANDOWNERS, LOCAL AUTHORITIES, NGOS, POLITICIANS, SCIENTISTS AND STATE AGENCIES TOGETHER TO DISCUSS THE CHALLENGES, EXPLORE THE SOLUTIONS AND FIGURE OUT HOW TO WORK TOGETHER TO ACHIEVE OUR COMMON GOAL OF REVERSING BIODIVERSITY LOSS AND IMPLEMENTING THE NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN 2017 - 2021". 

It's streaming live on https://www.biodiversityconference.ie/

An impressive line up of people, Ireland's best. Inevitably the conference focuses on terrestrial habitats. Information on biodiversity loss in our marine waters is scarce. Collecting data on marine biodiversity, especially in deep offshore waters, but also along our coasts, is much more difficult to obtain than on land. So despite our marine waters being ten times greater in area than the terrestrial landmass, we don’t have sufficient knowledge to assess the magnitude of this issue. 

Effective marine management requires establishing local management groups with real powers to make decisions and to act. This requires a relinquishing of power from Dublin to our coastal communities. 

IWDG contribute a monthly column on This Island Nation with Tom McSweeney which is repeated in The Marine Times, the newspaper in Ireland of the fishing industry. In this months edition to coincide with the National Biodiversity Conference Dr Simon Berrow explores biodiversity loss in our marine and coastal waters and suggests some actions to address biodiversity loss.

https://www.mixcloud.com/CRY104FM/this-island-nation-18th-february-2019/ (starts10:30 minutes into the programme)

Dr Simon Berrow is contributing to a session on "citizen science" using the IWDG recording schemes as an example of successful engagement, but at a cost. Citizen Science is not free science and to generate useful data recording schemes must be nutured, recorders treated with respect and secure long term funding support to generate the data required to monitor our biodiversity and identify threats and pressures. 

It's streaming live on https://www.biodiversityconference.ie/

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