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Marking World Ocean Day in Cork

June 8th 2023

I want to thank Fair Seas for inviting me to address their World Ocean Day conference in Cork today. This is a really important international forum for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), happening at a very opportune moment as we work to bring Ireland's Marine Protected Areas Bill to cabinet in the coming weeks.

As I told the delegates today, Ireland, and this government, is absolutely committed to taking action to protect and restore our ocean and seas, and our progress is accelerating. In the last two years we've increased Ireland's #MPAs from 2.1% to 8.3%, and we're on track to reach 10% this year.

There is an urgent need for action and Ireland's - and my own - ambition is high, but participation is vital to ensure we make the best, most sustainable choices to protect Ireland’s rich, dynamic marine environment and the communities that rely on it. There is simply no other way and that's what #FairSeas is all about.

We're on a journey together to address biodiversity loss in our seas and ocean, to tackle climate change and protect and restore our marine environment. Our destination, and our goal, is a brighter future for us as a society, for nature and for climate, and for people and planet.

With my Green Party colleague, advocate, activist and MEP for Ireland South, Grace O'Sullivan.

While I was in Cork I was delighted to catch up with my colleague - herself a powerful advocate for marine protection - Grace O'Sullivan, MEP for Ireland South. Grace's constituency office in the heart of Cork city has quickly become more than just an office - it's a fantastic new community space in Cork, hosting public events and regular clothing swap shops. Naturally we discussed the importance of the EU's Nature Restoration Law, for Ireland and the EU as a whole. Grace is as inspirational as always, and working hard in the Parliament to keep our hopes of restoring nature alive. No better woman!


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