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The Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme is delighted to announce that they will be hosting five 'Kraken beach events' for families on seashores around the country, celebrating as part of European Maritime Day, on Saturday 21st May at 12pm.

The Explorers team are encouraging families to save the date in May and join them on beaches in counties Mayo, Galway, Kerry, Waterford and Dublin to hear stories about the largest mythical sea monsters known as the Kraken which according to legend are found in the deepest parts of the ocean.

"The Kraken is a legendary sea monster, gigantic in size, that is said to exist off the coasts of Norway and Greenland. It is believed that the Kraken will be swimming past Ireland in May and the Explorers team are on the look-out, to see if it might land on one of the local seashores," explained Dr Noirin Burke, of the Explorers Education Programme.

The Explorers team are encouraging families to save the date in May and join them on beaches in counties Mayo, Galway, Kerry, Waterford and Dublin Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Camden Education

"Celebrating our local seashore on European Maritime Day, we will be running walks and talks, litter pick-ups, and encouraging families to join us in creating sand sculptures of the scariest and largest cephalopod species. Spot prizes funded will be provided to children for creating the best Kraken sand sculptures," Dr Burke added.

European Maritime Day takes place all around Europe and aims to raise awareness and engage people in learning about our ocean, as well as building a network to encourage the development of a sustainable blue economy.

Ms Patricia Orme, Corporate Services Director of the Marine Institute, welcomed the Explorers Kraken Family Day. The day is a great way to support and encourage families to learn about the marine environment, and understand our impact on the ocean, as well as promoting the development of our blue economy in Ireland, and beyond."

The Explorers Kraken Family Day on the beach will take place at 12pm on Saturday the 21st May in the following locations: Old Head Beach in Mayo, on Grattan Beach in Galway, Waterville Beach in Kerry, Tramore West in Waterford (run in conjunction with the Bealtaine Living Earth Festival), and Dollymount Strand in Dublin.

Families are encouraged to book their attendance in advance here.

The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland's state agency for marine research, technology development and innovation.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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In recognition of European Maritime Day — today, Thursday 20 May — and World Oceans Day on Tuesday 8 June, the Marine Institute has joined with a host of partners in Ireland’s marine sector to launch a new series of its Oceans of Learning education programme.

Over the next four weeks, Oceans of Learning will enable everyone to engage with our ocean from anywhere with a new podcast series, videos and short films, news and online resources all about our seas and Ireland’s marine resource — from our rich marine biodiversity to our changing ocean climate and our oceans‘ future.

Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue said: “As an island nation, Ireland has a special relationship with the seas and oceans and many of our coastal communities in particular also depend on them for their livelihoods.

“Collaboration and scientific research are now more important than ever as we continue to work together to understand and protect our valuable marine resource and ensure their future sustainability.”

Marine scientist, speaker and author Finn van der Aar hosts the new Oceans of Learning podcast seriesMarine scientist, speaker and author Finn van der Aar hosts the new Oceans of Learning podcast series

Mick Gillooly, joint acting CEO of the Marine Institute, added: “Ireland’s marine resource supports diverse ecosystems, is a source of food, influences our climate, weather and our wellbeing, and has an important role in Ireland’s economy, providing employment in fisheries, aquaculture, ports and shipping, technology, tourism and seafaring.

“Through Oceans of Learning, Ireland’s marine sector will come together to celebrate our seas by providing a host of engaging and entertaining resources on the enormous opportunities presented by our coast and ocean.”

The programme launched with a special live webinar earlier today hosted by Irish marine scientist and author Finn van der Aar, who also hosts a related podcast series that will share stories from the people and professionals who have a connection with the sea through science, careers, industry, art and more.

In its first episode, the podcast — available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify — focuses on the link between oceans and our health and wellbeing with scientist and big wave surfer, Dr Easkey Britton.

In addition, Green Rebel Marine lead scientist Dr Aaron Lim, Sibéal Regan of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and Debbi Pedreschi, post-doctoral researcher at the Marine Institute, discuss marine life on rocky seashores to the bed of the deep sea.

This week also sees the Marine Institute launch its Sea Science Series with Mark Langtry, ‘The Science Guy’. In this four-part series, Mark will bring the wonders of sea science to the screen with his entertaining, sometimes explosive, and totally educational shows.

A new short film collaboration between the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Kerry-based wildlife and underwater filmmaker Vincent Hyland and the Marine Institute also premieres this week.

Ireland’s Marine Life takes a dive beneath the waves of Ireland’s wild Atlantic waves to explore the variety of sea life found in Irish waters.

And the Explorers Education Programme has launched its Wild About Wildlife on the Seashore photo and art competition for children.

Between now and 21 June, primary school teachers, children and parents are encouraged to discover their seashore ’in my country' through photography and art.

More details on this year’s Oceans of Learning programme can be found on the Marine Institute website.

Published in Marine Science

To celebrate European Maritime Day, the Marine Institute will broadcast a special live Oceans of Learning webinar at 4pm next Thursday 20 May.

Hosted by marine scientist, speaker and author Finn van der Aar, the one-hour Zoom webinar will explore our ocean, from supporting diverse marine wildlife and ecosystems to sustaining livelihoods and the impact of a changing ocean climate.

Filmmaker Ken O’Sullivan will share his experiences searching for blue whales, sharks and deep-water coral reefs in the North Atlantic for the documentary Ireland’s Deep Atlantic.

Finn will also speak to Roberta O’Brien, the first woman in the history of the Naval Service to achieve the rank of commander in 2020.

Commander O’Brien has held a wide variety of roles and appointments at sea and ashore, and was also the first female to captain an Irish warship when she assumed command of the LÉ Aisling in 2008.

In addition, the webinar will launch the latest Oceans of Learning series following the success of 2020’s programme.

Over four weeks, the Marine Institute will offer news, videos and resources which celebrate our seas and Ireland’s marine resource. The final week will celebrate World Oceans Day on Tuesday 8 June.

A weekly Oceans of Learning podcast, presented by Finn van der Aar, will share the stories from the people and professionals who have a connection with the sea — through science, careers, industry, art and more.

Register for the free webinar and tune in to hear more on how to subscribe and listen to the podcast — as well as join the conversation with scientists, seafarers and sea enthusiasts.

Published in Marine Science

Is Ireland “ocean literate”? Tireless campaigners for better awareness of our impact on our marine environment may not be so sure, but Galway-based scientist Dr Noirín Burke is ever optimistic.

Dr Burke is director of education at Galway Atlantaquaria in Salthill, and her infectious enthusiasm for life on the shoreline has inspired several generations of young visitors since she took up that post.

However, Dr Burke is also co-secretariat of the Irish Ocean Literacy Network which is preparing for a number of events next month as part of European Maritime Day.

European Maritime Day

The programme ranges from an EU blue schools workshop on May 17th to an ocean literacy communications event hosted by Sea Search Ireland and Galway Atlantaquaria, to the first ocean literacy festival.

Dr Noirin Burke and her daughter Roisín on Grattan Beach, GalwayDr Noirin Burke and her daughter Roisín on Grattan Beach, Galway

On May 20th, the Irish Ocean Literacy Network will also host a workshop with speakers including Patrícia Conceição, Directorate-General for Maritime Policy, Portuguese Blue Schools (Escola Azul); Easkey Britton, world-renowned surfer, marine social scientist and writer; Nicola Bridge, President, European Marine Science Educators Association and Nathalie Van Isacker, EMODnet Secretariat, European Atlas of the Seas

Wavelengths interviewed Dr Burke (below)to hear details about the network, about her own work, about European Maritime Day, and about one of her favourite coastal locations – Galway’s Grattan beach.

Published in Wavelength Podcast

In recognition of European Maritime Day on 20th May and World Oceans Day on 8th June, the Marine Institute and partners will celebrate our seas, our world’s shared ocean and our connection to the sea through our Oceans of Learning series. Over the next 10 weeks, the Marine Institute and partners will come together virtually and share news and offer online activities and resources on a range of marine topics to make it easier for those of all ages to engage with our ocean from home.

European Maritime Day aims to raise awareness about the seas and oceans and their importance to our environment, economy and culture, with the annual event offering workshops, networking, discussions and the opportunity to forge joint action on maritime affairs and the blue economy. The 2020 European Maritime Day conference was to take place this May in Cork City, alongside Ireland’s national maritime festival SeaFest.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed said: “While we regret that this year’s European Maritime day events in Cork had to be cancelled, public health concerns must take priority at this time. Following a period during which the marine sector had been enjoying a period of increased growth, the main challenge facing the sector for the foreseeable future will be recovery from the economic impacts of the current public health crisis. This will require all relevant stakeholders to work together to ensure that the momentum for sustainable growth is maintained over time”. The Oceans of Learning 2020 Campaign - One Shared Ocean - One Shared Future will showcase some of the positive developments across the marine sector in recent years which we will need to build on as we face these new and unexpected challenges.” 

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. John Sheehan said: "While it is with great disappointment that we were unable to host European Maritime Day 2020 and the SeaFest National Maritime Festival this year, health and safety of all participants and those attending is paramount. Despite the disappointment of the cancellations, the key messages around the importance our Oceans and the role they play in our lives still stands, and I am delighted this will be celebrated through our Oceans of Learning Series to be hosted by the Marine Institute. We look forward to welcome SeaFest back to Cork in 2021.”

Dr Paul Connolly CEO of the Marine Institute said: “Planning for the European Maritime Day event and SeaFest brought together partners in Cork, nationally and internationally. We want to take this opportunity to come together to celebrate our seas and look at the enormous opportunities presented by our coast and ocean. Through our Oceans of Learning series, the Marine Institute with our partners, will offer a host of resources on our shared ocean and the major role it plays in our everyday lives. Our ocean has sustained us in good times and in bad. Now more than ever we must come together and empower Ireland and its people to safeguard and harness our ocean wealth.”

Ireland’s marine resource is ten times the size of its land territory, supports diverse ecosystems, is a source of food, and influences our climate, weather and our wellbeing. Our ocean has an important role in Ireland’s economy, providing employment in a number of areas of the marine sector – fisheries, aquaculture, ports and shipping, technology, tourism and seafaring.

Each week through our Oceans of Learning series we will share a new marine topic - from the food we take from our ocean, and our rich marine biodiversity, to our changing ocean climate, and ports and shipping.

The Marine Institute will work with Government Departments and partners such as Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Bord Bia, National Maritime College Ireland, The Commissioners of Irish Lights, Met Éireann, Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) and coastal communities and organisations across Ireland to enable everyone to engage with our ocean from anywhere.

The first marine topic in our Oceans of Learning series is ‘Food from our Ocean’ and will be available on www.marine.ie next week.

Published in Maritime Festivals

In light of the rapidly evolving situation and public health measures due to the coronavirus, a decision has been taken to postpone European Maritime Day in Cork Harbour until later this year.

The European Maritime Day Team released the following statement regarding European Maritime Day 2020:

Dear speaker, dear workshop organiser, dear stakeholder,

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support for European Maritime Day (EMD) 2020 in Cork, Ireland on 14-15 May.

Given the implications of coronavirus for all countries including restrictions on travel, it is with regret that, together with Cork City Council and the Irish Marine Coordination Group, we have decided to defer EMD.

We are currently looking into possible alternative dates later in the year and will keep you posted.

We thank you for your understanding and hope that you will be able to join us in Cork later in 2020.

Published in Cork Harbour

Sunday 15 March is the deadline to apply for a stand at the European Maritime Day Expo in Cork this May.

Ahead of the official launch of registration later this month for the conference taking place at Cork City Hall on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 May, applications are now open for stands at the Expo taking place over the two days.

European Maritime Day (EMD) is the annual EU meeting point on maritime affairs and a sustainable blue economy, and targets maritime professionals, entrepreneurs and ocean leaders.

This year’s conference will also be held back-to-back with SeaFest, Ireland’s largest free family-friendly maritime festival.

As such, EMD is an ideal place for maritime stakeholders to showcase innovative ideas, products and services related to the conference themes, as well as to meet, exchange experiences and discuss the latest developments on blue economy.

Get more information from the EMD website, and apply for a stand at the EMD Expo HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

The deadline for applications to make your event a part of European Maritime Day celebrations this year is next Friday 31 January.

In 2019, a total of 145 events were organised across 23 countries under the ‘EMD In My Country’ banner, with activities from beach cleaning to guided port tours, workshops and conferences, exhibitions on maritime themes, eco-tours, boat excursions and much more.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, for 2020 the focus will be on youth activities, and young ocean activists and youth organisations working for he promotion of sustainable oceans are encouraged to apply.

Events for EMD In My Country will take place between April and June this year — in parallel with the European Maritime Day Conference in Cork on 14-15 May — and submissions are open until Friday 31 January. For more details visit the EMD website HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals

Applications are now open to submit your event to be part of European Maritime Day celebrations next year.

In 2019, a total of 145 events were organised across 23 countries under the ‘EMD In My Country’ banner, with activities from beach cleaning to guided port tours, workshops and conferences, exhibitions on maritime themes, eco-tours, boat excursions and much more.

For next year, the focus will be on youth activities, and young ocean activists and youth organisations working for he promotion of sustainable oceans are encouraged to apply.

Events for EMD In My Country will take place between April and June 2020 — in parallel with the European Maritime Day Conference in Cork on 14-15 May — and submissions are open until Friday 31 January. For more details visit the EMD website HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals

Chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan is representing the Marine Institute at European Maritime Day 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal this week.

Concluding today, Friday 17 May, European Maritime Day is one of the largest marine science and policy meetings of the year.

The 2019 programme focuses on blue entrepreneurship, research, innovation and investment to transform traditional maritime sectors and boost emerging technologies.

Dr Heffernan said the Marine Institute “plays a crucial role in supporting, co-ordinating and promoting marine research at a national and international level.

“By working alongside academic institutions in Ireland, and participating in and leading research partnerships, the institute is able to increase our knowledge of the ocean which will assist in the sustainable management and development of our marine resource.”

The Galway Statement, signed at the Marine Institute in 2013, provided the first step in forming the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA) between the European Union, Canada and the United States of America.

AORA aims to promote a healthier Atlantic Ocean, find more sustainable ways to use its resources and increase people’s awareness and literacy surrounding the ocean.

“AORA is science diplomacy at work,” Dr Heffernan said. “Transatlantic cooperation has been instrumental to the success of AORA and creating a strong Atlantic community.

“Within five years, scientific research teams working together in the Atlantic have unearthed new discoveries and knowledge in the areas of seabed mapping, ocean observation, climate and polar research, and marine biotechnology.”

European Maritime Day encourages a ‘blue economy revolution’ to deliver economic growth in the maritime sector and expand employment opportunity.

The programme covers almost all aspects of marine science, technology and policy, and encourages participants to engage with partners from the EU community to exchange information.

The 2020 European Maritime Day annual meeting will be hosted by Cork City Council, which will mark the first time Ireland has hosted the event.

Published in Marine Science
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