A survey has shown that three-quarters of people believe the Government should prioritise fully protecting valuable marine ecosystems. The RED C survey was carried out by Fair Seas, ahead of a gathering at Cork City Hall on World Ocean Day to discuss the next steps for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Ireland.



The survey found that 56 per cent of people would be more likely to vote for a party or candidate that takes an interest in the health of our seas and ocean.

Just over 39 per cent of people surveyed believe Irish seas are healthy, while 62 per cent of people believe Irish seas have worsened in the last decade.

The survey also found 72 per cent of people believe all fishing activities in Ireland should be low impact and within scientific advice limits.

Aoife O’Mahony, Campaign Manager for Fair Seas said, “It’s amazing to see that most people care for, value and respect our seas and ocean, with the majority of people saying in repeated surveys that they want to see more and improved protections for Ireland’s marine habitats and species. Ireland’s new Marine Protected Area legislation is due before the Oireachtas in the coming weeks.”

Nationwide Ocean Literacy survey launched

Fair Seas has launched its first Ocean Literacy Survey, to find out how well people in Ireland know the waters around us and how they use them. The coalition of leading environmental non-governmental organisations and networks has launched the ambitious research online and is asking people from all sectors to share their views.

Ocean literacy is the understanding of our individual and collective impact on the ocean and its impact on our lives and wellbeing.

Fair Seas is asking people about the health of Ireland’s marine environment, how they use the seas and what actions they believe the Irish government needs to be taking to manage this environment.

Topics include:

  • How important the ocean is to people
  • Where people’s knowledge about the marine environment comes from
  • If the marine environment has changed over the last decade
  • What activities they’ve done to protect the marine environment
  • The impact their lifestyle has on the marine environment
  • How much time they spend by the sea

Aoife O’ Mahony, Campaign Manager for Fair Seas said, “We’re working with international researcher Dr Emma McKinley on this important project. We want to understand how a wide range of people use, experience and value Ireland’s ocean and marine environment.”

Dr Emma McKinley, Research Fellow from Cardiff University added, “At its very simplest, ocean literacy is all about people’s relationships with the ocean – it is defined as ‘having an understanding of the ocean’s influence on you, and your influence on the ocean’. Knowing how people feel about, value and perceive the marine environment and how it is managed can help us to make better decisions and improve ocean and coastal management in the future. 

The Ocean Literacy Survey will remain open until the end of the summer; with an overview of initial results will be presented at the Fair Seas World Ocean Day Conference in Cork on Thursday, June 8th, as covered above.

All information collected through the survey will be held securely and treated in the strictest confidence. It will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and consent can be withdrawn at any time.

To take part visit the survey page here.

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