Support the recent Wildlife (Amendment No.1) Bill 2021 to amend Section 23 of the Wildlife Act to include the Basking Shark, in the Fifth Schedule of the Act. This will give Basking Sharks legal protection in Irish waters.
Why is this important?
Basking sharks are endangered in the Northeast Atlantic and global population estimates indicate that the west and northern Irish seaboard are part of the single most internationally important coastal region for this species. Basking sharks occupy inshore and offshore areas year-round in Irish territorial waters. Ireland and our coastal communities have historically benefited from basking shark fisheries and today we have a duty to provide protection for this highly mobile species when they occupy Irish territorial waters. Recent research indicated that the Irish public supports the protection of basking sharks in Irish waters (Gray, 2019). Adding the species to Schedule Five of the Wildlife Act, (1976) as amended, is the simplest method to provide protection for the species in Irish territorial waters.