Protect ALL Pinnipeds in Irish waters including Arctic Vagrants!

Protect ALL Pinnipeds in Irish waters including Arctic Vagrants!

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ORCA Ireland Welfare Unit started this petition to Dept. Of housing and

PROTECT ALL PINNIPEDS IN IRISH WATERS! 

ORCA Ireland is calling on the government of Ireland to include all pinnipeds that are observed in Irish waters to be protected under the Wildlife Act, 1976 and its amendments, including Arctic vagrants.

The Atlantic Walrus is listed as "Near Threatened" on the IUCN Red List (Lowey, 2016), and as "Vulnerable" on the Norwegian and Greenlandic red lists. The arrival of a juvenile walrus on Monday the 9th of August in West Cork has highlighted the need to improve awareness of the disturbance of marine mammals in Irish waters. 

Since 2017, ORCA has encouraged people to respect marine wildlife in their natural habitats while recording sightings to the Observers App. Check out our website www.orcaireland.org to view our guidelines on recommendations for viewing marine mammals. 

 The "OBSERVE don't Disturb" Campaign aims to promote the Ocean Research & Conservation Association of Ireland's SeaSafe Whale & Wildlife Watching Best Practices. However, we face a challenge promoting ORCA's Best Practices for Arctic species such as Walrus, who rarely frequent our shores, yet are subject to more disturbance from members of the public and media than a resident pinniped. 

The order pinnipedia includes seals, sea lions, and walrus. Currently, Ireland is home to 2 species of resident phocid  (earless) seals, the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) and the common seal (Phoca vitulina), however, in recent years, ORCA has received a number of reports to the Observers App of Arctic marine species, including a hooded seal in Schull, West Cork in January 2020 and a Bearded seal in Timolegue in West Cork.

Given the mass swarming and disturbance of Wally the Walrus in the last week, ORCA Ireland strongly urges the relevant authorities to include ALL Pinnipeds as protected in Irish law, including Arctic vagrant pinnipeds. In light of the climate crises, we can expect that we will over the coming years experience more exotic species visiting our shores from northerly waters and we need to have the legislation in place to quote when we are trying to create an exclusion zone around vulnerable species to provide better protection and animal welfare while they are a guest in our waters.

Please if you want to help "Wally", the North Atlantic Walrus, please sign the petition and lobby our government to TAKE ACTION and include Arctic pinnipeds as protected in Irish Law under the Wildlife Act 1976, and its Amendments, as a temporary protective measure during their stay in Irish marine habitats, making it illegal to cause intentional disturbance to all pinnipeds in Irish waters.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 50,000!
At 50,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!