Ireland – Key Statements

Date: 25 June 2023

March 2024


  • Ireland noted that there was not agreement on whether the Secretary General should go ahead with conferring with the IMO on the safety at sea issue, in the absence of a Council decision. The delegation further noted that since this is legally controversial, the Council should provide parameters of such an exercise. 
  • Ireland raised concerns with inaccuracies of past ISA press releases and called on the Secretariat to fix future inaccuracies immediately.
  • The delegation noted that the recent ISA press release included an explanatory paragraph on the role of the Authority and the potential of deep-sea resources for the green transition. Ireland pointed out that this is not within the mission statement of the ISA and requests language that more closely follows the ISA mission statement.


  • Ireland stated that cooperation and collaboration between regional seas organizations and global and sectoral bodies are crucial to maintain the ocean environment’s integrity. 
  • Ireland emphasized mutual respect and coordination between the ISA and OSPAR.


  • Ireland believes that test mining is obligatory and can be used to better understand accumlated impacts on the marine environment.


  • Ireland is supportive of establishing an environmental compensation fund to address liability gaps as identified by the UNCLOS 2011 advisory opinion. Ireland views that the scope of fund should include a broad range of damage and claimants.
  • Ireland believes it is essential that the environmental compensation fund is fully established and sufficiently funded before any exploitation activities commence, otherwise this could be a massive regulatory gap.


  • Ireland noted that one of the major contemporary challenges in ocean governance is the widespread practice of vessels using flag states of convenience, often to avoid taxes, labor standards or environmental standards.
  • Ireland mentions the exploitation regulations mustn’t allow for the phenomenon of sponsoring states of convenience. “The spread of sponsoring states of convenience would jeopardise uniform application of the highest standards of protection of the marine environment”


  • The delegation supports a robust, credible, independent compliance regime that is resourced financially and with expertise. 
  • Ireland noted that the LTC should be present but not be involved in the decision-making of the compliance committee.
  • Ireland acknowledges the right to protest at sea. 
  • Ireland suggests that there may not have been sufficient grounds for the ISA Secretary-General to issue immediate measures regarding the Greenpeace protest in November 2023.


  • Ireland supports incorporating environmental externalities into the payment regime for deep-sea mining to incentivize the protection and preservation of marine environments
  • Ireland believes that any system for incorporating environmental costs should be designed in a way that enhances protection and preservation while ensuring rigorous adherence to environmental standards.

November 2023


  • With regards to the development of an Emergency Response and Contingency Plan, Ireland said that matters pertaining to the protection of the marine environment should be given prominence and belong at the top of the list. Whilst other matters, such as safety at sea, are important, Ireland do not think that optically it is a good look for potentially very serious damages to the marine environment to seemingly be an afterthought, after less profound issues. 
  • Ireland questioned the need for a Contractor to receive more than one written warning by the Authority as one violation should be considered to be serious enough.
  • Ireland also questioned why a violation would need to be persistent and wilful, as for example, it is very often the case that environmental disasters are not wilful, but rather arise from recklessness or negligent conduct. 
  • “Maximum participation of observers and civil society is necessary as we continue with the draft regulations.”


  • On the requirement to submit environmental data annually/monthly the delegation stated that some need to be submitted in real time and monthly could be enough for some other type of data.
  •  Ireland suggests to moving to standards and guidelines.


  • Draft regulation 49: Ireland supports harmful effects over serious harm. “Harmful effects is the standard imposed by Art 145 of the Convention. Should be included in this regulation going forward.”
  • Marine litter and underwater noise – Ireland supports their inclusion in the definition of pollution.
  • Ireland believes that all mining discharges should happen under strict  environmental  standards

July 2023


  • Ireland supports the inclusion of agenda item titled establishment of a general policy by the Assembly related to the conservation of the marine environment, including in consideration of the effects of two year rule proposed by Chile, Costa Rica, France, Palau, and Vanuatu. 
Posted on Categories Country Positions