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30th April 2019 | Climate Change, Marine, Press Releases

Time to take action on oceans in peril: Green Party MEP Candidate Senator Grace O’Sullivan

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Speaking in response to the release of two marine-related scientific reports indicating bad news for wild salmon stocks, and worldwide carbon levels, ecologist and Green Party MEP candidate Senator Grace O’Sullivan has expressed her deep concern.

“Wild salmon numbers have been dropping at a truly alarming rate in recent years,” said the Waterford based Senator, who is Green Party Spokesperson for Environmental Protection, Natural Resources, Marine and Tourism.

“Because of Climate Change, rising water temperatures and other factors, the young salmon smolts that leave our Irish rivers to take the long, treacherous journey across the Atlantic and back home to spawn, have been dropping. It used to be that about 30 out of every 100 smolts would come home. Now it’s in the region of 3 out of every 100.

“In other disturbing marine news, we are learning that microplastics in the systems of living plankton in our oceans are preventing crucial carbon sequestration. Plankton in oceans throughout the world performs a critical role in the absorption of carbon from the earth’s atmosphere, a process essential for human survival into the future. But plastic pollution is impacting hugely on efficient carbon storage and Irish scientists are saying that this will effect survival of all life into the future unless urgent action is taken.”

“None of this is positive news, however steps must be taken to reverse the damage and start rebuilding our global life support systems and deal with the impacts of the Climate crisis on the ocean systems health, because ultimately, it is intrinsically linked to human health.

“Also, in this, the International Year of the Salmon, we should be protecting this precious species, so synonymous with Ireland. We all grew up learning about the wisdom of the Salmon of Knowledge. Now we need to show wisdom ourselves, and save this most magnificent fish from extinction.”