Special Areas of
In Ireland, the 1992 EC Habitats Directive as transposed by the EC (Natural Habitats) Regulations requires cetaceans occurring in Ireland are maintained at favourable conservation status. Under Article 12 of the Directive, all cetaceans should receive strict protection within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Under Article 4 of the Directive, Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) must be proposed for the following species: bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise.
There are two SACs with bottlenose dolphin as a qualifying interest; the Lower Shannon and West Connacht Coast. There are three with harbour porpoise as a qualifying interest; Roaringwater Bay and Islands, Blasket Islands and Rockabill to Dalkey Islands.