Bjorn the Polar Bear heading for Galway


Bjorn the Polar Bear is making his way from the Arctic to Galway Atlantaquaria in Salthill to celebrate World Oceans Day on Sunday 8th June 2008. Galway Atlantaquaria, the Marine Institute and Failte Ireland, who are sponsors of the event, aim to raise the awareness about the effects of climate change and the importance of Ireland’s 220 million acre marine resource through a family fun day of events.  

Bjorn’s keeper, Ursala, congratulated those involved in organising the World Ocean Day event in Galway and said, “Bjorn the Polar Bear is looking forward to meeting all of the children at Galway Atlantaquaria.  We hope to raise the awareness of how Polar Bears live and provide information about the affects climate change is having on the environment he lives in.”

Dr. John Joyce of the Marine Institute said, “There are over 70 countries celebrating World Oceans Day this year, which is coordinated across the globe through The “Ocean Project”, the largest international network ever formed to focus on conservation of the ocean.  Given that our seas are the biggest single regulator of climate on the planet, this event is promoting the idea that whatever helps our oceans, helps our climate.

Demonstrations, activities and exhibits will also feature Captain Black John’s fishy cartoon classes, face painting, diving demonstrations, cooking with BIM, and many other displays and presentations including the Shackleton Experience,  Western Regional Fisheries Board, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, the Irish Wildlife Trust, RNLI, Galway Bay Sailing Club and many others celebrating Ireland’s marine resource.  For more information about World Ocean Day visit the Galway Atlantaquaria website or phone 091 585 100.


Further information:

The concept of a "World Ocean Day"

On June 8th hundreds of communities around the globe will celebrate the 16th annual World Ocean Day – an opportunity to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea, and to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help to protect it. 

The ocean and climate are inextricably linked – the ocean plays a crucial role in maintaining the Earth’s climate and ocean life is vulnerable to climate change. As human activities produce too much carbon dioxide, it is absorbed by the ocean and, as a result, ocean waters are becoming warmer and more acidic, threatening the fundamental building blocks of life in the ocean. The ocean is also rising as a result of climate change.

For media interested in accessing free online images of the ocean, The Marine Photobankhas a growing collection of compelling images and photo stories that visually engage and help audiences to understanding the threats and challenges facing our world’s ocean. The Marine Photobank is partnering with The Ocean Project and its Partners to use this free resource to promote ocean conservation. The World Ocean Day website also has a poster and logos for you to download and use in publicity.