It is now an offence to carry out active acoustic surveys without ministerial permission in two areas in Kerry.
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan issued the directive for the Blasket Island where harbour porpoise and grey seals are prevalent and for Kenmare River due to ncommon seals.
Such activity involves sea-bed mapping, sea-floor exploration and other scientific research.
It does not refer to marine geographical or seismic surveys used in oil and gas exploration, or echo sounders or fish finders.
Consent to carry out such activity can be sought from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Service.