Ocean News: Irish Sea Gets A Push For Protection and Sri Lanka Protects Coast From Tsunami

By January 31, 2012 Ocean News
Minke Whale of the Irish Sea

Irish Sea Gets A Push For Protection

Today’s first story brings us to the U.K. Have you ever wondered about the piece of water between Great Britain and Ireland? Well, apparently, not many people have. That piece of Ocean is called the Irish Sea and an organization called the Wildlife Trust have recently launched a website on the Irish Sea to raise awareness of the biodiversity in its water and for the need to protect.

Here is a bit about the Irish Sea for your benefit:

The sea is connected to the Celtic Sea via the South Channel and to the Atlantic Ocean via the North Channel. The Sea is 210 km long and 240 km wide and it’s deepest depth is 175 m. The highest diversity is found in the Estuaries the point at which freshwater in rivers drain into the ocean and mix with saltwater. Here, many invertebrates, fish, waterfowl, and other animals make their homes permanently or part-time when they are young and need to hide from predators. The open water can be quite complex as it is influenced by freshwater from the rivers, warm seawater from the intertidal zone will float to the top in the open waters of the Irish sea creating a complex and diverse structure of diversity.

Minke Whale of the Irish Sea

Minke Whales are one of the 12 Marine Mammal species that travel through the Irish Sea

Here are some of the many species that you might find in the Irish Sea throughout the year:
1)30 species of sharks including the basking shark (2nd largest fish), thresher shark, blue shark, mako shark, porbeagle sharks;

2)Seagrass beds, rocky reefs, mud flats which house urchins, Dublin Bay prawns, and brittlestars, and honeycombed reefs made up of living worms;

3)12 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises including the harbour porpoise, the bottlenose dolphin, and the minke whale; and,

4)The Leatherback turtle visit the Irish Sea as they eat swarms of jellyfish.

The mission of the Irish sea is to raise awareness of the life beneath the Irish Sea and to protect it from the depths of the Ocean to the coastal shallows.

I really like this site as it has many high quality images showing the wide variety of life beneath the Irish Sea. I highly recommend you jump on the site to find out more.

I also recommend that you sign the petition to encourage the UK government to designate 15 Marine Conservation Zones that would up the percentage of Irish Sea protected from 2% to 25%. The Irish Sea has been neglected for so long and it is important that we protect it and the species that make it their home!

Sri Lanka Protects Coast From Another Tsunami

The government of Sri Lanka has recently dedicated over $4 million USD to protecting the shores of Sri Lanka. Specifically, the government aims to strengthen the safety of the country’s shores and reduce coastal erosion.

As part of the plan, the government plans to establish 10 protected areas along the coast in the Western, Southern, and Eastern parts of the country.

Protecting mangrove areas is a key component of protecting the shorelines as the mangrove trees stabilize the coastal soil by extending their roots.

The government also plans to pump sand and build beaches and breakwaters in areas where erosion more severe.

These plans are a good idea considering reports issued after the 2004 Tsunami that devastated the region stated the areas where mangrove habitats were intact showed less damage and had less human casualties then areas that did not have mangroves and other coastal protections such as breakwaters.

Mangrove forests are often destroyed due to deforestation, removal for shrimp aquaculture, and coastal development. The addition of ten protected areas along the coast will certainly help protect the shores of Sri Lanka and protect biodiversity in the region.

I want to leave you with the question of the day:

What is the greatest threat from the Ocean on your country’s coast?

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Carlo Castellani says:

    I don’t agree that pumping sand is a good idea:
    waste of money,
    CO2 emission,
    destruction of sea bottom and all its life,
    illusion to win against sea current.
    It’s just the old way politicians need to show voters they are doing something (mangroves don’t grow enough before next election and they don’t need public money to do it).

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