Whales, wildlife and weather on show at SeaFest in the Marine Institute’s Wild Atlantic Theatre

Doug Allan swims beside Humpback Whale and her calf, Tonga, South Pacific At SeaFest 2019, the Marine Institute's Wild Atlantic Theatre will showcase talks from award-winning wildlife cameraman Doug Allan and Met Éireann Head of Forecasting Evelyn Cusack, as well as screenings of the documentary Ireland's Deep Atlantic.

Ireland's largest free family-friendly maritime celebration, SeaFest, will take place from 7 - 9 June 2019 at the Port of Cork in Cork City. The 2019 programme of events is presented by Cork City Council and the Inter-Departmental Marine Coordination Group.

Multi-award winning wildlife cameraman, Doug Allan will take to the stage on the Wild Atlantic Theatre to present 12 talks over the weekend. With eight Emmy Awards and five BAFTAs, Doug Allan has become one of the world's best known and respected cameramen. His work alongside Sir David Attenborough on documentaries such as BBC's Blue Planet and Frozen Planet has seen him venture to some of the wildest and most remote places on the planet. Kids will enjoy exciting tales about whales from the tropics to the Artic in Adventures with Whales and encounters with polar bears, penguins and seals in Hairy Scary Thrillers.Doug and a Leopard Seal. Doug will also share stories from behind the scenes in An Eye Below the Ice, and how a changing climate is affecting Earth's north and south regions in The Changing Poles.

Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann, Evelyn Cusack will share her insights on weather forecasting in a series of talks in the Wild Atlantic Theatre. Find out how, why, when and where storm names come from and yellow, orange and red warnings in Name that Storm! Evelyn will also discuss wildfires, hurricanes and heatwaves in Is our weather changing?

The Marine Institute's Wild Atlantic Theatre will also include screenings of the RTÉ documentary Ireland's Deep Atlantic. Underwater cameraman Ken O'Sullivan takes viewers on a deep sea journey in search of whales, sharks and cold water coral reefs, and explores the health of our ocean. Ireland's Deep Atlantic features ground-breaking footage of sea creatures in Irish waters and captivated the nation when screened in 2018. Filmmaker Ken O'Sullivan will also present a Q&A session at 2.30pm on Saturday 8th June.

Children will also enjoy screenings of the animation series, Octonauts. Animated in Ireland by Brown Bag Films, the series follows eight talented adventurers who explore the ocean and discover new marine creatures.

Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute said, "We are delighted to welcome both Doug Allan and Ken O'Sullivan back to SeaFest 2019, which were popular attractions for the young and the young at heart. Doug Allan and Ken O'Sullivan are able to take viewers on a journey into our oceans, helping us understand more about our diverse marine life and inspiring us to preserve and protect our ocean."Doug Allan and Ken O'Sullivan catching up at SeaFest 2018. Photo Cr Andrew Downes, XPOSURE.

Our ocean and climate are inextricably linked, and the Marine Institute works with partners to observe and understand how our ocean and climate is changing. In collaboration with Met Éireann the Institute manages the Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network, which provides vital data for weather forecasting services as well as changing parameters within the ocean. As part of this year's SeaFest, we look forward to welcoming Evelyn Cusack to the programme to share her experience and insights on our changing weather," Dr Heffernan said.

In the Marine Institute's Wild Atlantic Expo, visitors will enjoy interactive exhibits and displays exploring our marine world, as well as storytelling sessions for kids and sea-themed art and craft. An art and poetry exhibition created by primary schools as part of the Explorer's Education Programme will also be on display. Festival-goers will also be able to climb on board the Marine Institute's RV Celtic Explorer which is open for tours over the weekend.

To view the full festival programme visit www.seafest.ie SeaFest is a key goal of Ireland's national marine plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth and its goal of increasing participation and engagement with the sea. 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.