Blue-rayed limpets. Photo: Paul Naylor
The Irish Sea has the potential to be one of the most productive and wildlife rich places on earth.
Hidden beneath the surface are landscapes every bit as varied as those we see on land, with undersea cliffs, caves, valleys and mountains which are home to thousands of plants and animals from tiny anemones to the majestic basking shark.
For centuries our sea's riches have been taken for granted. Fragile habitats have been destroyed. Pollution, inappropriate fishing gear and the effects of climate change have had major detrimental impacts on our marine enviornment.
- Basking shark numbers have dropped by 95%
- The common skate is not so common, in fact it's on the brink of extinction!
- Corals, seahorses, dophins and seals have all been adversely affected.
The Wildlife Trusts Living Seas vision is that wildlife thrives, from the depths of the ocean to the coastal shallows.
Our seas have a remarkable capacity to recover, but only if we give them the chance! The Wildlife Trusts have helped to secure the Marine and Coastal Access Act, which is great news.
We are acting as marine advocates for the Irish Sea
- Ensuring that the government's deadline for designating Marine Conservation Zones by the end of 2012 is met.
- Ensuring a network of protected areas in the Irish Sea is established with the needs of wildlife at the fore.
- Increase marine awareness. We have amazing wildlife in the Irish Sea, let's shout about it!
- Protect the Irish Sea. We can help it recover through the designation of Marine Conservation Zones where wildlife can thrive.
- Engage the people of the North West. Let's delve deeper and find out more!
Together we can protect the Irish Sea for the future!
There are lots of ways you can become more involved with our work to protect the Irish Sea. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest events, volunteering and campaigning.
There are lots of organisations that collect information on sightings, so if you see anything interesting when you are out and about, why not help them create a picture of our marine life. Below are links of where to report different species:
Live stranded marine mammals
If you find a live stranded marine mammal inform the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) headquarters on 01825 765546 (24hrs). They will then advise you about the best action to take.
In the case of a seal pup, it might also be useful to inform the RSPCA who will be trained on how to deal with these animals. They can be contacted on 08705555999 (24hr).
Please do not attempt to catch or touch the animal until you have consulted the professionals; it could cause more harm than good.
You can find lots more information on conservation in the Irish Sea on our dedicated website.