The announcement in early October 2022, that Basking Sharks are now protected in Irish waters under the Wildlife Act is fantastic step forward in Irish Marine conservation.
Regulations under Section 23(2)(a) of the Wildlife Act 1976, entitled the “Wildlife Act 1976 (Protection of Wild Animals) Regulations 2022.” The effect of these Regulations is to confer ‘protected wild animal’ status on the Basking Shark under Section 23 of the Wildlife Act, 1976.
Where an animal is protected under Section 23 of the Act, it is an offence to:
- Hunt a protected wild animal (unless under permission or licence granted by the department)
- Injure a protected wild animal (unless done while hunting in accordance with a licence or exemption cited above), or
- Wilfully interfere with or destroy the breeding or resting places of a protected wild animal
We all enjoy our seas and waterways in many varied ways and in many varied vessels, and we all have one thing in common … looking after the biodiversity of our seas and waterways is vital.
A Code of Conduct is being developed currently and in the meantime you may be interested to read up on the Irish Basking Shark Group’s current recommended code of Conduct HERE.
Full details on the Government press release are available HERE.
If you would like to keep abreast of campaigns to research, understand and protect our oceans these organisations may interest you …
As a reminder of where the Irish Waters are, we share the fantastic map of Real Ireland!