Arctic must be protected from exploitation - Liadh Ní Riada MEP
Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland-South, Liadh Ní Riada, has today stated that no new commercial activity for exploiting any natural resource should be permitted in the Arctic in order to safeguard its biodiversity and ecosystems.
Speaking in the European Parliament Committee on fisheries, she said;
“We need to have a debate on whether there should be any increased commercial fishing in the Arctic.
“When I was on a fact-finding mission to Norway during the year, I was told of legitimate concerns highlighted by local fishermen around the issue of external fishing fleets pillaging their resources, and corporate entities seeking to extract oil and gas.
“This despite opposition from Arctic fishing communities who were justified in stating that native biodiversity and fish stocks would be adversely affected.
“The Arctic is one of the least protected of the world´s oceans, less than 1.5 percent has any form of protected area status.
“Because of climate change, the Arctic and its ecosystems are in grave peril due to the shrinking ice, any increase in commercial activity, especially oil and gas exploration will put the Arctic at further risk.
“We need to be vigilant as we have a duty of care and responsibility to ensure that this does not happen to the Arctic."