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World Wetlands Day To Be Marked By Coastwatch in Wexford

2nd February 2023
Coastwatch co-ordinator Karin Dubsky
Coastwatch co-ordinator Karin Dubsky

Restoration is the theme of a Coastwatch event to mark UN World Wetlands Day today in Co Wexford.

The one-day event will include a keynote address by Tobias Salathe of the Ramsar Convention European office in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ireland currently has 45 areas designated as Ramsar sites or wetlands of international importance, covering a surface of 66,994 hectares.

They are protected by the Convention on Wetlands, which came into force here in March,1985.

The convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Ireland is one of 172 contracting parties to the convention protecting 2,400 wetlands of international importance.

The total surface of designated sites extends across a global area of 256,192,356 hectares.

Austrian ambassador to Ireland HE Thomas Nader will open a Coastwatch exhibition this morning in Wexford County Hall at 11am, followed by Mr Salathe’s address.

A workshop on addressing climate change, biodiversity and water quality issues and the role of wetlands will be facilitated by journalist Brian Trench.

Field trips are planned to wetlands both threatened by climate change, including farmland which was claimed from the sea years ago and is now in the front line of sea level rise and storm surges, according to Coastwatch co-ordinator Karin Dubsky.

The event will conclude with a celebration in “song, music and word” from 5pm to 7pm. More here Team

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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!