Fair Seas Ireland - Letter from the Sea

Fair Seas is a brand new organisation led by a coalition of Ireland’s leading environmental non-governmental organisations and networks including Irish Wildlife Trust, BirdWatch Ireland, Sustainable Water Network, Friends of the Irish Environment, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Coomhola Salmon Trust, Irish Environmental Network and Coastwatch.

Fair Seas is urging the Irish Government to designate a minimum of 30% of Irish waters as Marine Protected Areas (areas that restrict human activity for conservation purposes - like National Parks) by 2030, up from the current figure of 2% which the group says is wholly inadequate. Recent assessments indicate that two-thirds of Ireland’s coastal habitats are in an unfavourable condition, with an alarming decline of 90% in numbers of iconic species such as porbeagle and angle sharks noted.

Thinkhouse was commissioned to help spread the message and launch the campaign by creating a short video asset to communicate the mission, vision and science behind Fair Seas and its report on the need to increase Ireland’s Marine Protected Areas from 2% to 30% of our waters by 2030. We needed to help people understand why ocean health is vital to the health of life on earth, and help people make a connection to the need to protect our ocean.

Thinkhouse created ‘A Letter from the Sea’, a piece of work that showcases the many benefits of a healthy sea for us and our communities. The 120-second film is a creative collaboration between our Planet strategy, film, copy and design team. It features a voiceover from the perspective of the sea herself, reminding the viewer of the important role it (the ocean) plays in our lives - not only the environmental benefits but also the joy the sea brings to our day-to-day existence.

“Remember that summer holiday? You were so small, you tried to jump over the waves and you squealed as I chased you back up the beach”

In the film, The Sea is voiced by Dr Tara Shine, Irish environmental scientist, policy advisor and science communicator. The film was launched the week of World Oceans Day and EU Oceans week 2022, alongside an in-depth scientific report “Revitalising Our Seas - Identifying Areas of Interest for MPA Designation in Irish Waters” (MPA’s). The film kick-started the Fair Seas advocacy campaign publicly, raising awareness of the importance of creating MPAs in Ireland among key stakeholders and decision makers. It was screened for relevant Government Ministers to educate them and reinforce the importance of the campaign's objectives.

The film now lives on beyond the launch to spearhead the communication efforts and progress of the Fair Seas' mission - it’s been shown to media and attendees at global oceans conferences and submitted to the first-ever official Citizens Assembly on Biodiversity Loss in the world (in Ireland).

Aoife O’Mahony, Fair Seas Campaign Manager, said: “Our ambition is to see Ireland become a world leader in marine protection, giving our species, habitats and coastal communities the opportunity to thrive. Many people have little or no connection or interest in the sea and its inhabitants. With ‘Letter From The Sea’ we are breaking through this barrier to help people understand why ocean health is vital to the health of all life on Earth.”

Read the full Fair Seas report here.

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