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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

     

    Jul 2020 right left

      
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    Energy Efficiency in Business

    Tuesday 7th July
    Online
    Free

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    Marine

    Over 50% of Northern Ireland’s biodiversity is found within our seas. Therefore, steps to ensure the health and resilience of Northern Ireland’s marine habitats and species are vital.

    Marine

    Our marine environment is under severe environmental pressure. Toxic algal blooms, nutrient–enriched estuaries, over–exploited commercial fish stocks, invasive species, habitat destruction, increasing sea temperatures, coastal erosion, littered beaches and sewage pollution are all having negative impacts. 

    Our seas are not a limitless resource and we need to develop an approach to regulating activities which will allow sustainable marine management and development. Marine planning is a tool which will facilitate the sustainable development of the marine area, based on a balanced consideration of economic, social and environmental factors while taking account of the costs and benefits of key marine activities.

    NIEL is a member of the Marine Task Force (MTF), which actively campaigned for introduction of comprehensive marine legislation for Northern Ireland. The subsequent introduction of the Northern Ireland Marine Act in September 2013 marked a key moment for Northern Ireland’s marine environment. The NI Marine Act is NI’s primary contribution to the EU goal of having healthy seas by the year 2020. The Act has created Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ’s) which allows Northern Ireland to plan the sustainable use of the seas for future generations.

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    The Northern Ireland marine area consists of 650km of coastline, with over 10,000 hectares of shore lying between the High and Low water marks.

    It was estimated that by 2020 the value of offshore renewable energy could be as high as £880 million.

    Over 91% of the Northern Ireland Marine area maintains ASSI designation (Areas of Special Scientific Interest).

    Coastal areas support all cities in NI, with the vast majority of the population living within 60km of marine waters.

    In 2011, as in 2010, all ten designated shellfish waters achieved the mandatory standard and there were no exceedences of the dangerous substances standards in shellfish waters.