Join us on Thursday, May 18th at 8pm in the Templenoe Community Centre, Kenmare Co. Kerry V93 A620.

Our Marine Heritage is an in-person film screening and panel discussion with Minister Malcolm Noonan and local and global marine conservation experts. The evening will begin with the screening of Fair Seas: The Kingdom of Kerry – a short documentary film produced by the Fair Seas campaign, featuring those working in coastal communities around Kerry.

Minister Malcolm Noonan will provide an update on the new legislation on Marine Protected Areas and the next steps.

We will then dive a little deeper into marine policy and marine conservation from both a global and local perspective with an expert panel discussion featuring Shannon Rake from Mission Blue, Dr. Donal Griffin from Fair Seas and Vincent Hyland from Wild Derrynane.

No pre-registration is required so please just come along.

Our Marine Heritage is kindly being hosted by Kenmare Green Party representative Cleo Murphy, who says this is an opportune time to reflect on how we want to protect the waters in Kerry. “Legislation to introduce Marine Protected Areas is before the Oireachtas this term,” she says. “It will designate 30% of Irish waters for biodiversity protection by 2030. This is hugely important for biodiversity but also for the communities along our coasts who depend on marine tourism, aquaculture, and inshore fishing.

“Meanwhile the international organisation Mission Blue has deemed an area from Kenmare Bay to Loop Head as the first Irish Hope Spot (The Greater Skellig Coast) for ocean health and I’m thrilled that Shannon Rake from Mission Blue will be joining the panel discussion with Minister Noonan. It has the makings of a very informative evening.”

Dr Donal Griffin from the Fair Seas campaign and local nature activist Vincent Hyland from Wild Derrynane will also participate in the panel discussion.

Dr Donal Griffin adds “The good news is that protecting and restoring marine biodiversity has never been higher on the Irish Government’s agenda. New and ambitious Marine Protected Area legislation will help us meet National and EU targets to tackle the decline and loss of wildlife at sea. The recent influx of hundreds of enormous basking sharks along the Ireland’s west coast in recent weeks is a timely reminder of what we stand to lose if we don’t act now.”

Vincent Hyland, who campaigns for greater appreciation of marine biodiversity through his art, documentaries, and underwater photography, says protection of our waters is vital. “The waters around Kerry are remarkably rich in sea life but we need to be far more careful about protecting them,” he says. “I’ve seen huge problems around plastic pollution and the effect it can have on marine life. Diving here since the mid-1970s, I have witnessed major changes in our inshore waters, most of which are hidden from view. Between the designation of the Hope Spot and the new Marine Protected Areas, there is cause for optimism but there isn’t a minute to lose.”

His book, Wild Derrynane: Wildlife Yearbook Explorer’s Guide, Stories and Memoir is due for publication shortly.

Our Marine Heritage will take place on Thursday 18 May 2023 at 8pm. in the Templenoe Community Centre, Kenmare Co. Kerry V93 A620.

For anyone that cannot make this in-person event, the Irish Wildlife Trust will be hosting an online screening of our film Fair Seas: The Kingdom of Kerry on May 23rd as part of National Biodiversity Week. You can register here, it’s free.

Keep up to date with Fairseas and MPA news and developments, by subscribing up to our newsletter here. Make sure to follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

We also welcome you to join us in Cork on 8th June, where we are hosting our inaugural World Ocean Day conference. We are bringing ocean advocates, government, industry and key stakeholders together to map out the next steps for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Irish waters.

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