Polar Bears, Pirates and Antarctic Explorers highlight the problems of Climate Change

World Ocean Day kids in tank 2008Celebrations to mark World Oceans Day at the Galway Atlantaquaria drew over 1,500 people last Sunday (8th June), raising awareness of the role of the oceans in climate change while giving families a fun day out in the fascinating world of the underwater.

Organised by Galway Atlantaquaria and the Marine Institute with support from Failte Ireland/West, the event featured Bjorn the Polar Bear, accurate reconstructions of Antarctic Exploration, displays of SCUBA diving the in the Atlantaquaria’s deep ocean tank and cartoon classes with a fishy theme.


The event was opened by RTE’s Marine Correspondent Mr. Tom McSweeney.

According to one Blog published on the web immediately after the event:

“(we) were at Galway Atlantaquaria yesterday for the World Ocean Day celebrations.  There was so much on at the Aquarium and the kids had a really good time.  (Great excitement at the arrival of new octopi) We saw the diver go into the big tank and the kids got a kick out of him waving and sticking his tongue out at them.  They enjoyed Bjorn the Polar Bear and the cartoons workshop with Captain Jack. 

There were so many exhibits and things to see and do and touch.  And, of course, it all helps reinforce the importance of our oceans and marine life. 

As Tom MacSweeney, marine correspondent for RTE and presenter of Seascapes on RTE Radio 1, pointed out as he officially opened the Day, 'Why is our planet called Earth, why not Ocean?' which left us all wondering. Congratulations to Atlantaquaria, the Marine Institute, and all the organisations involved, not only was it a great family day out, but it helps to keep the marine environment in our minds, especially as Ireland is surrounded by sea.”

Galway Atlantaquaria and the Marine Institute would in turn like to thank everyone who made the day possible, including all our sponsors and exhibitors (especially Bjorn the Bear, his handler and the gentlemen demonstrating historic polar exploration gear), Discover Ireland/West, the management and staff of Schooners restaurant, Failte Ireland and the Air Corp air-sea rescue helicopter crew, who were called away on urgent business over the weekend.

Looking forward to World Ocean Day 2009!