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The diversity of marine life is key to the functioning of the coastal environment. A rich level of biodiversity has positive influence on the services the seas provide to humans, such as food, tourism, and general health (Duffy, 2003). It is therefore, important to understand how the differing levels of the ecosystem contribute to the whole. With this understanding it is possible to identify areas that require particular attention and protection. Through scientific research, areas of concern can be highlighted and proper measures taken to ensure the continued success of the ecosystem, through proper funding and enforcement of environmental policy and legislation.

This series will cover areas including:

  1. Food Webs and Ecosystem Levels
  2. Protected Areas
  • Special Protected Areas (SPA’s)
  • Special Areas of Conservation (SAC’s)
  • Marine Protected Areas / Marine Reserves (MPA’s)
  1. Scientific research
  2. Ecotourism
  3. Awareness and Costs

These will cover a range of further more specific topics of importance to Ireland’s coastline. The information contained in this blog series was researched and compiled by Seán MacGabhann  as part of a broader literature review looking at West Cork’s coastline, and has been edited and contributed to by Orla-Peach Power unless otherwise stated.