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With mounting anthropogenic and ecological pressures on the coastal marine environment, global governments are realising the importance of the services provided to coastal communities by the marine ecosystem. On both a national and international level, several vital pieces of legislation and policy guidelines have been put into force over the last number of years. European initiatives like the Oslo Paris Convention (OSPAR) and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), are further supported by the Birds and Habitats Directives, along with the Water Frameworks Directive (WFD) and Marine Strategy Frameworks Directive (MSFD), the Nitrates Directive, adding further levels of protection to the marine environment on an international level. The Irish government has also decided that further knowledge and conservation is needed, and so have come up with a National Biodiversity Plan. All of the above policies and legislations cannot be effectively enforced by the European Union and national governments alone, which is where the National Parks and Wildlife Service play a most crucial role.

Through this blog series Deep Maps hopes to provide a better understanding of some of the policies and legislation that governs our waters and provides frameworks for management of our marine resources. In this series we will cover:

  1. The OSPAR Convention
  2. The Common Fisheries Policy
  3. The Birds Directive
  4. The Habitats Directive
  5. The Water Frameworks Directive
  6. The Marine Strategy Frameworks Directive
  7. The Nitrates Directive
  8. The Irish National Biodiversity Action Plan
  9. The National Parks and Wildlife Service

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.