Friends of the Irish Environment have supported the call by the authors of a new study for more careful use of fertilizers to address the problem of Irish marine ‘dead zones'. Dead zones are caused when massive algal blooms fed from run off fertilizer die and decay, depleting oxygen and creating zones that can not support life.

The study shows that hundreds of regions of critically low oxygen now affect a combined area the size of New Zealand, and that they pose as great a threat to life in the world's oceans as overfishing and habitat loss.

It has identified 20 of the world's 400 marine ‘dead zones' along the Irish coast.

Irish Dead Zones include many of the best known estuaries, such as those of the Barrow, Blackwater, Bandon, Slayney, Suir, and Feale Rivers. Bays include Donegal Bay and Harbours include Castlteownbere, Killybegs, and Dungarven.

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Irish Dead Zone list

Irish Examiner


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