#HelpCetaceans - From the fast and furious ThunderCats to the more serious side of marine wildlife as the Irish Whale & Dolphin ketch is part of the Dublin Riverfest which concludes this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore.
As previously reported on Afloat, the IW&DG’s research vessel, the RV Celtic Mist is open to the public from among the visiting tallships. The 56ft steel hulled ketch is berthed in the Grand Canal Dock Basin. It is refreshing to see that the ketch has occupied a berth at this location to spread the maritime festival beyond the Liffey quays.
Celtic Mist with a port of registry in the capital is berthed in the dock basin close to the Plaza opposite the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. The ketch in recent years was donated by the family of the late Charles J. Haughey.
The former Taoiseach having declared Ireland as a whale and dolphin sanctuary in 1991, however the IW&DG are appealing for donations and corporate sponsorship to ensure the financial sustainability of running the ketch within the next three years. They require €20,000-30,000 to operate the costs of the ketch based on an annual basis.
Afloat took the opportunity to board the handsome looking French built ketch dating to 1974 and now carrying out important research on cetaceans. The work by the IW&DG is invaluable, given the all-Ireland group is dedicated to the conservation and better understanding of whales, dolphins and porpoises.
This involves Celtic Mist undertaking cruises to monitor species off our shores and by returning such data that leads to further studies, education and interpretation. These cruises (up to eight persons) carry out sighting of cetaceans and involves co-ordination schemes when species are stranded.
In addition to the role of Celtic Mist, assistance in carrying out sightings involves ferry and aerial surveys with the collaboration of the Air Corps Maritime Squadron. The combination of all such data is to help monitor the status of whales and dolphins in Ireland and to inform policy and implementation of action plans.
For more on the work of the IW&DG and how to become a member if you are to sail on the RV Celtic Mist, visit their website here.