Studies have indicated that Ireland is home to between 10pc and 20pc of the world’s basking shark population
It is hugely welcome that basking sharks are finally going to be a protected species in Ireland, according to Social Democrats Climate Spokesperson Jennifer Whitmore.
Deputy Whitmore was commenting after Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan announced the government had adopted legislation introduced by Deputy Whitmore, which designated basking sharks a protected species.
“Providing basking sharks the protection they deserve was the first piece of legislation I introduced in the Dáil last year. It was of particular significance to me given my background as a marine scientist.
“Basking sharks are the world’s second largest fish and they are regular visitors to our shores. Every summer, we can catch glimpses of these majestic creatures as they slowly meander up our western coast.
“Studies have indicated that Ireland is home to between 10pc and 20pc of the world’s basking shark population at any one time. We need to treasure our natural heritage, our biodiversity and our own iconic species. It was therefore vital that the government addressed a huge gap in the law and provided them legal protection.
“I am grateful to Minister Noonan for moving forward with my legislation and working to protect this endangered species.
“It is now essential that these new protections are implemented with sufficient resources to ensure the population of basking sharks is not only protected, but afforded the potential of increasing in numbers and thriving in Irish waters.”
3 March, 2022