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7 December 2009

Ireland visit

Our project manager, Rowan Byrne, reports on his recent trip to Ireland to meet sea users.
“Marine conservation zones will affect people who use the Irish Sea wherever they are based. So it is really important that we encourage people not just from England to get involved in the project, but also Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and parts of Scotland.
I’d set up a range of introductory meetings in Ireland, all geared around the delivery of marine conservation zones in the Irish Sea. The idea was to let people who use, study or make their living from the Irish Sea how they can get involved with the process to recommend conservation zones.
I met representatives from Northern Irish government agencies responsible for inshore and offshore waters, seafood producers based in Kilkeel Co Down, and staff from Ulster Wildlife in Crossgar, to name a few.
All were keen to find out more about marine conservation zones and welcomed the opportunity to get involved and collaborate.
I also once again joined Derek Mooney on the popular RTE radio programme Mooney Goes Wild, which is heard by around 300,000 people. I’ve been on several times in the past talking about my work with Great White sharks and sea turtles.
Overall it was a very productive trip. I met many people who have an interest in the Irish Sea and want to get involved with the project.
It was rewarding to see such a beautiful part of the Emerald Isle, and to see the other side of the Irish Sea that we don’t normally get a chance to view.”