Marine Institute to showcase science and the sea at SeaFest 2019

A swell-tering start to SeaFest 2018, Ireland's national maritime festival, in Galway. Pictured with Doug Allan, renowned wildlife and underwater cameraman are Seren Flavin, age 5, and Amy Sarma, age 7, and Alexander Bocquel, age 3. Photo Jason Clarke.

At SeaFest 2019, Ireland's national maritime festival, the Marine Institute will offer talks from multi-award winning cameraman Doug Allan and Met Éireann Head of Forecasting Evelyn Cusack, as well as film screenings, interactive exhibitions and tours of the RV Celtic Explorer. SeaFest will be held in Cork for three days from Friday 7th June to Sunday 9th June 2019.

Speaking about the upcoming festival Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute, said "Our ocean is our greatest natural resource, providing food and transport, supporting diverse ecosystems and also has a major influence on our weather and climate. SeaFest offers an opportunity for the Marine Institute to showcase our areas of research through interactive exhibits and displays and for visitors to come on board our national research vessel. Talks on our changing ocean, film screenings and art exhibitions enable visitors to discover more about our ocean and celebrate our maritime heritage."

The Marine Institute's marine research vessel the RV Celtic Explorer will be open for tours during the weekend. Visitors will get to see where scientists work, sleep, eat and socialise while on board, meet the vessel's master and crew, and see some of the marine species found in Irish waters.Elliot Irwin with Colm the Shark on Board the Celtic Explorer  at  SeaFest18. Photo: Andrew Downes, Xposure.

Doug Allan, the multi-award winning wildlife cameraman, will perform four talks each day in the Marine Institute's Wild Atlantic Theatre, with some talks specifically for children. Doug has worked alongside Sir David Attenborough on ground-breaking documentaries such as BBC's Blue Planet, Frozen Planet and Ocean Giants. As one of the world's best underwater cameramen, Doug has had the chance to get up close to some of the most powerful and awe-inspiring mammals found on land and sea. Kids will enjoy exciting tales about whales in the Artic in Adventures with Whales and polar bears, penguins and seals in Hairy Scary Thrillers. Doug will also share stories from behind the scenes in An Eye Below the Ice and witnessing first-hand the effects of the change in sea ice cover in The Changing Poles.

The popular RTÉ series Ireland's Deep Atlantic will also be screened in the Marine Institute's Wild Atlantic Theatre. The episodes feature underwater cameraman Ken O'Sullivan embarking on a series of voyages in search of large whales, sharks and cold water coral reefs. Ken O'Sullivan will also host a Q&A session on Saturday 8th June following the screening.

New to SeaFest this year, Evelyn Cusack Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann, will also provide insight into the world of weather forecasting. Evelyn Cusack will present two talks each day on our changing weather, naming storms and weather warnings in the Marine Institute's Wild Atlantic Theatre.

The Marine institute's interactive exhibition 'The Wild Atlantic – What lies beneath' includes a series of interactive displays and exhibits that explore the marine world from the rocky seashore to the deep sea. Visitors can also experience what it's like to operate a mini Remotely Operated Vehicle, and discover Ireland's marine life through touch tank displays. Our youngest visitors will enjoy art and craft workshops and storytellers sharing tales of the sea and Irish folklore.

The art exhibition Our Ocean Marine Legends, Fairy Tales and Folklore in Ireland will also be on display in the Marine Institute marquee. Primary school students have created artworks interpreting Irish folklore as part of an art and poetry project run by the Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme.

SeaFest is Ireland's largest free family-friendly maritime celebration, with over 100 events taking place in Cork from 7 – 9 June. To view the full festival programme visit

SeaFest 2019 will be presented by Cork City Council and the Inter-Departmental Marine Coordination Group (MCG). SeaFest is part funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union under Ireland's European Maritime & Fisheries Fund Operational Programme for the seafood sector.