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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo

Over 50% of Northern Ireland’s biodiversity – our different types of plants and animals – is found within the sea. Our seas provide us with a multitude of services including food, transport, tourism opportunities and recreation. They have a huge value to the NI economy, as well as our health and education.

While the importance of the sea to our health, economy, and biodiversity is clear enough, the future of how the wider marine environment will be protected is not. Brexit is raising questions about how the seas, loughs, and rivers of Northern Ireland can be sustainably managed for future generations, while continuing to support our important fishing industry.

Nature Matters NI is campaigning to achieve clean, healthy, safe, and biologically diverse oceans and seas. We want to find an opportunity in Brexit to transfer existing marine nature protection legislation into UK law, while developing new measures to achieve a healthy, productive marine environment that supports sustainable industry into the future.

We are campaigning to:

  • Complete a well–managed network of Marine Protected Areas – this will be crucial to restoring the health of our seas and supporting sustainable maritime industries.
  • Secure a world–leading, ecosystems based sustainable fisheries management system – this will require fit–for–purpose legislation and cross–sector stakeholder engagement.
  • Ensure that current legislative measures relating to marine nature protection and marine environmental governance are secured – where possible we want to build upon these as the UK leaves the EU.

NMNI Marine & Fisheries Position Statement