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Marine Science



Fin-tastic shark display set to make a splash at Galway Science and Technology Festival.  The Marine Institute, alongside the Explorers Primary Schools Education Programme, will be showcasing marine science at the 2023 Galway Science and Technology Festival. Families are invited to the Bailey Allen Hall, University of Galway, on Sunday November 12 to learn more about Ireland’s shark species.

“We greatly enjoy the opportunity provided every year by The Galway Science and Technology Festival to highlight the work we do here at the Marine Institute, and to showcase in particular the Marine Institute Explorers Primary Schools Education Programme,” remarked Patricia Orme, Director of Corporate Services at the Marine Institute.

“The event is perfect for fostering an interest in marine science in children and adults alike. With this year’s focus on sharks, we hope families will enjoy learning more about these fascinating creatures.”

Celebrating the launch of the Explorers new children’s information book ‘Fintastic Sharks+ An Introduction to Elasmobranchs’, the team will be sharing stories of the wonders of sharks from around the world to those found in Irish waters.

“We all know that children love sharks, skates and rays. The Explorers team is very excited about examining the jaws of the great white shark, to the giant teeth of the Megalodon and to also learn about the super powers of many different shark species closer to home,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Strategic Education and Communications Manager of the Explorers Education Programme.

Ireland’s ocean resource is the perfect refuge for endangered species, such as the world’s second largest shark, the basking shark, the common stingray and the white skate which is Critically Endangered.

“Seventy-one species of sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras are found in Irish waters. This is over half the number of all of these species in Europe.  This highlights the importance of the collaborative work of the scientists at the Marine Institute who work with other scientists, fishers and local communities to help establish the sharks, skates and rays status in Irish waters,” Ms Dromgool-Regan added.

The Explorers team will also be displaying lots of shark biofacts and some of their favourite sharks, including baby lesser spotted dogfish and shark egg cases, also known as Mermaid Purses.

We look forward to providing the opportunity for children and families to get to see these beautiful animals up-close,” remarked Dr Noirin Burke from the Explorers team.

Families will have the opportunity to learn more about the 2018 discovery of an extremely rare shark nursery. While exploring deep-water coral reef systems as part of the SeaRover survey, the shark nursery was discovered.

Very large numbers of Mermaid’s Purses were observed on the seafloor at depths of 750 metres. Such large concentrations are very rare, indicating that females may gather in this area on the seafloor to lay their eggs.

The video footage of an extremely rare angelshark sighting in Rinville during the summer by some student kayaking enthusiasts will also be on display.

The Marine Institute’s exhibition ‘The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science’ is also open at Galway City Museum. Free to visitors, the gallery features seabed mapping, amazing scientific discoveries and creatures of the deep. In the Remotely Operated Vehicle Simulator, explore ocean depths like a marine scientist and discover cold-water corals, shipwrecks and a rare shark nursery.

For more information on the 2023 Galway Science and Technology Festival programme and to register for FREE event tickets, visit www.galwayscience.ie

It’s sure to be a fin-tastic day out for the whole family!