Thursday, 23 July 2015

Sea for Society Represented at the Our Ocean Wealth Conference, Cork

Sea for Society Irish Area Leader AquaTT represented Sea for Society at the Our Ocean Wealth conference, held in Cork, which was organised by Sea for Society partner the Marine Institute. 

Pierre-Yves Cousteau Presents Sea for Society at Ocean Literacy Workshop




AquaTT moderated Ocean Literacy workshop on 10 July 2015 . This important workshop on Ocean Literacy looked at how we can improve people’s knowledge of the sea at all levels of society.

The workshop featured a panel of national and international experts, including legendary diver Pierre-Yves Cousteau, who presented his recent work on Sea for Society in which he collaborated with IUCN and NUI Galway on analysing the results of the Consultation Phase of the project.

The Ocean Literacy workshop panel at the Our Ocean Wealth Conference, Cork

The workshop focused on discussing in practical terms the formation of an Irish Ocean Literacy forum consisting of education, research, industry and government stakeholders. The forum would have the objective of creating a seamless education and information programme from primary to third level.

Ocean Literacy, and the idea of introducing it to schools, is quickly developing momentum, with the EU placing a strong focus on it at the moment. For Ireland, the concept of Ocean Literacy is gaining significant traction, especially in terms of integrating it with the Atlantic Action Plan.

Ireland is an island with some 220 million acres of seabed territory. Yet few people know that half the oxygen we breathe comes from microscopic plankton in the ocean, that 95% of international trade is carried by sea, or that 60% of the world’s population lives within 60km of the coast. Few people know how fragile the oceans are and how our everyday actions impact on ocean health.

Our Ocean Wealth - Ocean Literacy Workshop Speakers:

  • David Murphy (AquaTT General Manager) - Workshop Moderator
  • Pierre-Yves Cousteau (IUCN) - Keynote Speaker, Sea for Society
  • Dr John Joyce (AquaTT) - Designing Ocean Literacy Programmes that Work
  • Susan Heaney (Titanic Belfast) - Driving Ocean Literacy at Titanic Belfast
  • Neil O’Hagan (Atlantic Youth Trust) - Is a Youth Development Tall Ship the Missing Piece of the Puzzle?
  • Sinead McCoy (An Taisce) - The Clean Coasts Programme

Sea for Society Information Kiosk at Seafest


The Sea for Society Information Kiosk continued its tour around Ireland during the Our Ocean Wealth conference and Seafest event. 

The AquaTT Sea for Society team were on-hand to engage visitors

Visitors to the stand were asked to commit to doing 'Just One Thing' to protect the sea

Those who made pledges proudly displayed their 'I love the Sea' stickers!

Sea for Society Blue Talks Dublin - Keith Duggan 'Writing Cliffs of Insanity - A Winter on Ireland’s Big Waves'

On 14 July 2015, an evening of Sea for Society Blue Talks was held in Science Gallery Dublin featuring stories about and by people whose daily lives revolve around the ocean.

Keith Duggan is an award-winning senior sportswriter with The Irish Times. He has written three books: The Lifelong Season and House of Pain, which are explorations of Gaelic games, and Cliffs of Insanity. Cliffs of Insanity tells the story of a dedicated group of surfers in Co Clare whose lives revolve around the pursuit of Ireland’s wildest waves. Keith is originally from Donegal and grew up beside the sea. He now lives in Galway ten miles from the coast and that sometimes makes him feel a bit claustrophobic.




Sometimes we don’t realise how crucial our seas are to our daily lives and how our impact upon them. After hearing these stories, we hope you’ll be inspired to learn more, spread the word and take action to help protect our precious ocean life support system!

Watch all of the videos from the Blue Talks Dublin event.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Sea for Society Blue Talks Dublin - Margaret Rae 'Marine Biodiscovery'

On 14 July 2015, an evening of Sea for Society Blue Talks was held in Science Gallery Dublin featuring stories about and by people whose daily lives revolve around the ocean.

Margaret Rae is a researcher in the Beaufort Marine Biodiscovery Programme, examining marine organisms harvested from the Irish coast and deep-sea territories in search of species with biological characteristics that may have medicinal uses and medical device applications. Margaret has over 20 years’ experience in industrial, regulatory and academic environments, both nationally and internationally.



Sometimes we don’t realise how crucial our seas are to our daily lives and how our impact upon them. After hearing these stories, we hope you’ll be inspired to learn more, spread the word and take action to help protect our precious ocean life support system!

Watch all of the videos from the Blue Talks Dublin event.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Sea for Society Blue Talks Dublin - Hugo Tagholm 'Surfers Against Sewage: Waves, Environment, Community'

On 14 July 2015, an evening of Sea for Society Blue Talks was held in Science Gallery Dublin featuring stories about and by people whose daily lives revolve around the ocean.

Hugo Tagholm has been Chief Executive of Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) since 2008. SAS was formed in 1990 in Cornwall by a group of surfers who were fed up of the regular sewage slicks and sanitary debris at local surf spots. It has a network of over 150,000 regular supporters, mobilises 15,000 community volunteers annually and has 60 regional chapters around the UK. Prior to taking the helm at SAS, Hugo worked at a senior level with various charities big and small, including the Climate Coalition and the UK Wildlife Trusts. Hugo lives in Truro, Cornwall with his wife and son. His favourite wave is Droskyn.




Sometimes we don’t realise how crucial our seas are to our daily lives and how our impact upon them. After hearing these stories, we hope you’ll be inspired to learn more, spread the word and take action to help protect our precious ocean life support system!

Watch all of the videos from the Blue Talks Dublin event.

Sea for Society Blue Talks Dublin - John Joyce 'Being Nemo - Misadventures of a Marine Science Communicator'

On 14 July 2015, an evening of Sea for Society Blue Talks was held in Science Gallery Dublin featuring stories about and by people whose daily lives revolve around the ocean.

John Joyce is a professional science communicator, published author and cartoonist with a background in marine science. He is currently the Irish Area Leader for the Sea for Society project. He was Communications Manager of Ireland’s Marine Institute until January 2012, where he created the Explorers marine science education programme. John has published four children’s books and five novels. His alter ego “Black John the Bogus Pirate” can regularly be found running children’s cartoon drawing classes at science festivals and aquariums around Ireland.



Sometimes we don’t realise how crucial our seas are to our daily lives and how our impact upon them. After hearing these stories, we hope you’ll be inspired to learn more, spread the word and take action to help protect our precious ocean life support system!

Watch all of the videos from the Blue Talks Dublin event.

Sea for Society Blue Talks Dublin - Hugh O'Brien Moran 'Fifty Years of Surfing - the Evolution of Surfing in Ireland'

On 14 July 2015, an evening of Sea for Society Blue Talks was held in Science Gallery Dublin featuring stories about and by people whose daily lives revolve around the ocean.
Hugh O'Brien Moran is a surf instructor and professional photographer based in Tramore, Co. Waterford. He took up surfing in 1965 at the age of fourteen, and went on to surf competitively in national and international contests alongside his wife, Margaret, also a former surfing champion. He has won the Irish national championships five times and come second in the European masters surfing championships, as well as acting as tutor to Ireland’s national teams. Today, Hugh still surfs all year round; he carries out surf coaching accreditation courses across the country for the Irish Surfing Association and is an active member in T-Bay surf club, where he teaches surf lessons to children and adults throughout the year.




Sometimes we don’t realise how crucial our seas are to our daily lives and how our impact upon them. After hearing these stories, we hope you’ll be inspired to learn more, spread the word and take action to help protect our precious ocean life support system! 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Seashore ‘Explorers’ Course Celebrates its Tenth Anniversary

This year, the ‘Explorers’ teacher training course for primary school teachers celebrated its tenth year, with courses held simultaneously in Galway, organised by the Marine Institute, the Galway Atlantaquaria and the Galway Education Centre, and in Dublin, organised by AquaTT, The National SEA LIFE Centre, Bray, and the Blackrock Education Centre.

This year both courses were supported by the Sea for Society Project.

National primary school teachers in Galway increased their knowledge of the ocean and its impact on our daily lives through a teacher training course run by the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria from 1-5 July 2015.

In Dublin, over twenty primary school teachers donned wellies and waterproofs at Sandycove Strand to gain firsthand experience of the seashore as an open air classroom for the SESE ‘Living Things’ curriculum strand to learn how animals and plants adapt to the drastically changing conditions effecting them as the tide rises and falls. 

Then, back at the SeaLife centre in Bray, they learned how the curriculum strand ‘Energy and Forces’ can be taught through examples of ‘buoyancy’ - such as lemonade bottle submarines and ice cube tray models of the RMS ‘Titanic’, peopled with modelling clay passengers in icy seas made from washing-up bowls.

Teachers in Dublin took part in the Explorers training course organised by AquaTT, The National SEA LIFE Centre Bray and the Blackrock Education Centre from 6-10 July 2015

The ‘History’ strand was demonstrated with Irish maritime heroes and heroines such as the pirate queen Gr√°inne Mhaol, Saint Brendan the Navigator and the father of the modern submarine John Phillip Holland. While those interested in applying a marine flavour to the ‘Geography’ strand  needed to look no further than Ireland’s 220 million acre undersea territory, with its submarine canyons, deepwater mountains and cold water coral reefs.

“It really is wonderful to see how teachers’ eyes are opened to the possibility of bringing a new dimension to their classes by the simple inclusion of marine themes to the existing curriculum,” said Dr John Joyce who led the Blackrock Course with marine biologist Cathy Maguire this year. “Even after ten years, the experience is as fresh as ever as the teachers realise the potential of the sea to entertain and educate – a lesson we’re sure will be passed on to their pupils in the years to come.”