Marine Conservation

We work on many marine issues at the Irish Wildlife Trust and are part of national and European wide coalitions working towards better marine protection.

We are partnered with Fair Seas working towards getting strong new Marine Protected Area legislation in Ireland

Click Here to find out more about Fair Seas.


We also work with Seas at Risk on the EU Nature Restoration Law which is calling for 20% of EU land and 20% of EU seas to be restored.

Seas At Risk is a coalition of over 30 environmental organisations representing the majority of European countries. Members are working together to protect Europe’s oceans and ensure they are biodiverse, resilient to climate change and have sufficient protection from damaging human activities.

Seas At Risk and its members work towards increasing the number and size of Marine Protected Areas in Europe. Ensuring robust management measures and ambitious policies for conservation at a European and international level.


Marine Protected Areas

Marine Protected Areas which are managed effectively are one of the best tools we have at fighting the biodiversity and climate crisis. Click Here to find out what makes a good MPA, why they are so important, and what we can do to make them great.



Restoring the Sturgeon to Irish Waters

Petition for Minister McConalogue to oppose an increase to the margin of tolerance for fisheries

Northern Ireland miles ahead of Republic in protecting inshore waters.

Press Release: Irish Wildlife Trust calls for urgent action to ban trawling and dredging in inshore waters

IWT response to MSFD Programme of Measures

New Irish Fishing Quota for Vulnerable Spurdog

EU Nature Restoration Law – What does it mean for marine conservation?

PRESS RELEASE: Irish Wildlife Trust welcomes moves to better protect the marine environment

Dodgy Dealings Under the Sea

EU nature law could be gamechanger for marine biodiversity, but will be meaningless if fisheries not properly addressed – NGO reaction

Press Release: The Irish Wildlife Trust welcomes report adopted by the European Parliament calling for urgent action on bottom-contacting fishing gear, but questions why majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) would not support a ban on bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas

Real Marine Protected Areas are within the EU’s grasp

‘Fair Seas’ campaign launches to demand fifteen-fold increase in Ireland’s Marine Protected Areas

Look to the sea

Older news

Fishing in Protected Areas


Public consultation: Expanding Ireland’s MPA Network. The Irish government has released a report on how to expand Ireland’s network of marine protected areas. We encourage everyone to get involved and send in submissions to this consultation. Our submission guide can be found here. Please see our full submission to the government’s MPA report here: IWT submission to Expanding Ireland’s Marine Protected Area Network


The IWT has made a submission to the Public Consultation on the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) – Article 17

Read our submission here: IWT MSFD consultation submission

Read about the underlying causes of ongoing deterioration of protected marine flora and fauna and what needs to be done to reverse this trend.

***New Report on Ireland’s failure to protect marine Natura 2000 sites***

AUGUST 2019:

The IWT has launched a public consultation on The Marine Planning Policy Statement highlighting the need for marine protected areas. 

You can see the submission here: IWT MPPS Consultation Response

JUNE 2018:

The IWT has launched a public consultation on Trawling Activity Inside 6nm

You can see the submission here –  IWT submission to trawling restrictions within 6nm

New report from the Irish Wildlife Trust urges the government to get on with the task of establishing a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

See report here – Marine Protected Areas – a tool for restoring Ireland’s ocean wildlife

FEBRUARY 2018: The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) is calling for full legal protection for selected marine fish and invertebrates in a newly released report, entitled ‘Protecting Our Ocean’s Wealth – a proposal for legal protection of threatened marine species

See report here –  Protecting Our Ocean’s Wealth


JANUARY 2018: Some good news for the marine ecosystem. The European Parliament adopted with a very large majority a ban on electric fishing in Europe. See article here

IWT calls on MEPs to oppose industrial-scale electrocution of marine life

Submission on final proposals for fishing opportunities for 2018

Shark Attack

Irish Wildlife Trust calls on Minister Michael Creed to end destructive ‘pair-trawling’ in coastal waters