Dr. Hammerhead Lecture Tour


Friday, 22 August 2014 09:38


Press Release from the Irish Basking Shark Project


For decades sharks have been vilified in the media, with Hollywood films like 'Jaws' and sensationalised media stories dominating the perception of human shark encounters. Sharks have a sinister reputation like no other in the marine environment, but should humans be scared of sharks?

To kick start the shark debate in Ireland the Irish Basking Shark Study Group (IBSSG), Royal Dublin Society and the Irish American Embassy have teamed up to host an all-island lecture tour of the infamous shark ecologist Dr. Peter Klimley AKA Dr. Hammerhead.

In a series of talks Dr. Peter Klimley, will help us discover the true nature of the shark and the motivation behind aggressive behaviour. Dr. Kimley uses a unique style of interactive talk, including dramatic video footage to discuss and explain the truth behind shark encounters in the real world.

Venues include;

- RDS Dublin - 29th September @ 18:30

- Queen's University Belfast - 30th September @ 13:00

- Carndonagh Secondary School, Donegal - 1st October @13:30 (School based workshop for pupils only)

- GMIT, Galway - 2nd October @ 13:00

- National Aquarium, Salthill Galway - 2nd October @18:00

*All talks are free entry and open to the public apart from the Carndonagh Secondary School talk which is open to school students only*

Book your place early to avoid disappointment.

For RDS Dublin use this linkl: http://events.rds.ie/?eventID=22572

For National Aquarium, Salthill Galway,  email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 00353 (0) 91585100

For QUB and GMIT contact the event organiser Donal Griffin via email:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Dr. Hammerhead

Dr. Klimley’s research interests revolve around the use of telemetric techniques; specializing in the development of behavioural and environmental sensors, computer-decoded telemetry, automated data logging, and archival tags.  He has designed and built multi-sensor ultrasonic transmitters and used them to relate the highly directional migratory movements of hammerhead sharks to local patterns in the earth's geomagnetic field.  He was involved in the development of the first automated tag-detecting monitors and was the first to deploy them in the marine environment to ascertain the degree of residency of hammerhead sharks at a seamount and their emigration in response to local upwelling.  A major objective of Dr Klimley’s

Biotelemetry Laboratory is to disseminate innovative remote sensing technology among scientists on an international level.

His telemetric oriented shark studies have been featured in two dozen television documentaries, in a number of countries including Australia, UK, Germany, USA and France.  He recently was featured in a 10-episode television series, "Shark Men," a reality show that brought scientists together with non-scientists to tag large sharks at the Revillagigedos Islands off Mexico and Cocos Islands off Costa Rica.

Dr Klimley’s research activities has earned him the name ‘Dr Hammerhead’, as he is known to have held his breath while diving up to 100 feet deep in order to hand-tag hammerhead sharks with a dart gun.


World Oceans Day takes place in early June, and hundreds of aquariums, zoos, museums and conservation organizations, will join with thousands of individuals around the world in fun, inspirational and educational events.

The Galway celebrations will be held on Sunday the 8th June from 11am to 5pm at Galway Atlantaquaria. A family fun day with activities for all ages is planned for between 11am – 5pm. Reduced admission prices will apply on the day. Partner organisations including the National University of Ireland Galway, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Marine Institute, NUIG/GMIT Dive Club, Irish Wildlife Trust and the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group will combine for a fun day for people of all ages. The partner organisations will have interactive stands to engage young and old, while arts & crafts, face painting, story telling and science experiments will captivate the children.

The ocean is so vital to us every day, but all too often overlooked and taken for granted. “World Oceans Day" provides an opportunity to focus special attention on our world's shared oceans in a fun and positive manner. We can celebrate our personal connection to the sea, as well as raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the increasingly critical need for each of us to help conserve its wonders and resources.

Key events on the day will include the Mad Scientist show”, drawing classes with Captain Black John and shows in the 3D Discovery Dome.  As ever at the aquarium you'll also have the opportunity to see all the fish, hold the spiny spider crab and pet the rays! It promises to be a fun day out for children and adults alike.

For more information check out www.nationalaquarium,ie or contact the aquarium on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 091 585100.

The Explorers Education Programme was initiated by the Marine Institute and works in partnership with Galway Atlantaquaria, Sea life Bray, Lifetime Lab Cork, plus Galway, Mayo, Clare and Blackrock Education Centres to integrate marine themes as closely as possible with lessons already taught in national schools.
The programme recently received funding from Science Foundation Ireland for the development of teaching materials and we are now looking for a suitable teacher or small group of teachers who would be interested in carrying out this work from June to October 2014.
If you are interested in this exciting opportunity you can apply by submitting an Expression of Interest by the 16th of May 2014, see full details below.
Expressions of Interest Form For Development of Explorers Education Materials
The Explorers Marine Education Programme is currently seeking Expressions of Interest from an enthusiastic motivated teacher/ team of teachers (max 4) with an interest in the marine (e.g. marine environment, marine species, marine technology, our oceans, the seashore etc) to produce and pilot a range of educational materials including lesson plans and worksheets in the following subject areas for the Irish Primary School Curriculum:

·         English

·         Geography

·         Visual Art

·         Mathematics

·         Music

·         Science

·         P.E.

Please note that for all subject areas a number of strand and strand units will be targeted at range of class levels from junior class to sixth class.

Evaluation Criteria:

An expression of Interest must include how you’re personal/ or team’s, skills/ background and experience fulfil the evaluation criteria outlined below:

·      Experience of developing educational materials for use in the Irish Primary School Curriculum

·      Interest in the Marine (e.g. marine environment , marine species, marine technology, our oceans, the seashore etc)

·      Availability to produce materials within a three month deadline, with a project start date of the 1st of June

·      Effective time management with capacity to work to monthly targets and attend progress meetings

·      Ability to pilot educational materials during the month of September  2014 and develop a method for evaluation before completion at the end of October 2014

·      With respect to team applications; capability to work as a member of a team with one individual acting as team leader


Please note Expressions of Interest can include any or all of the following:

·         Written information

·          Examples of materials produced

·         Photos

·         Art work

·         Video clips

·         Blogs

·         And other forms of media


 Applicants Information:

Team Leader:


Partner 1 (where applicable)


Partner 2 (where applicable)


Partner 3 (where applicable)


Contact Details (please insert the contact details of the Team Leader where a group is applying):

Job / Position Title:




Class Level:











Please provide evidence for the following categories (For Team applications please provide a summary):

·         Qualifications


·         Teaching Experience


·         Experience of developing education materials


·         Experience of piloting and evaluating educational materials


·         Interest in the Marine (e.g. marine environment, marine species, marine technology, our oceans, the seashore etc)


·         Availability to produce materials within a three month deadline, with a project start date of the 1st of June, to pilot materials during September 2014 before a completion date of 31st October 2014. Also please outline if you (and your team members where applicable ) will be able to attend progress meetings in Galway at the end of each calendar month during the projects duration

·        References: Please attach the names and contact details of two references who can verify you or your teams involvement in the development of educational materials


Please note:

·       Explorers Education Materials are produced to a standardised format; see www.explorers.ie for the current range of education materials available

·       Education materials will need to show innovation and inspire teachers to use materials and resources promoting the oceans, marine and sea life as part of the curriculum.  As the objective of the Explorers programme is to promote Ireland’s ocean wealth, lesson plans may include references to Irish marine species, marine habitats, and marine heritage plus other aspects of the marine environment.

·       The successful applicant must refer to the NCCA Primary School Curriculum for guidance on the expected outcomes under each strand and strand unit.

·       Any photographs, imagery and graphics must be free from copyright and/or permission is sought from the supplier to use as part of the Explorers Education programme education materials.  The successful applicant will be provided access to the Marine Institute’s photographic library free of charge to use for the Explorer Lesson plans and Worksheets.

·       A collection of marine related resources (books, poems etc) with links to materials or Pdf’s of the documents which can be used on the Explorers website are to be produced / or permission be sought to use.  Links to materials on other websites may not be appropriate to use.

·       All completed teaching materials will be copyright to the Explorers Education Programme and free for distribution for educational purposes on the www.explorers.ie website and associated websites and social media.


Enquiries regarding this call for Expressions of Interest can be directed to the Explorers Education Officer, Dr. Noirin Burke on (085) 7540836 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


You will be advised if you have been shortlisted for this call by the 23rd of May 2014.


Closing Date for Expressions of Interest is the 16th of May 2014; please return to the Explorers Education Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






Concerns about Dusty in Doolin

Friday, 26 July 2013 19:29

Press Release from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Ggroup (IWDG) have put up posters around Doolin slip and harbour warning about the hazards of swimming with Dusty, the bottlenose dolphin.After another swimmer was badly hurt by Dusty in Doolin Harbour last Thursday, Clare County Council contacted Simon Berrow of the IWDG to ask if they would prepare signage to erect around the pier warning people about the dangers of swimming with Dusty.

Apparently the woman, who was visiting the area from Westport, Co Mayo was rammed in the abdomen by the dolphin and was transported to A&E in Galway Hospital. At least three or four other people have been rammed so hard by Dusty, resulting in their being admitted to hospital.  One woman was medivaced back to Germany after she was rammed by Dusty in Fanore. This may only be the tip of the iceberg.

It is IWDG policy to discourage people swimming with whales and dolphins in Ireland. The risk is not only to humans but also to the dolphin as habituation to humans increases risk of injury or death to the dolphin. Around 80% of such interactions worldwide end up in the death or severe injury of the dolphins involved.

IWDG drafted a poster recommending people do not swim with Dusty, but if they must then they should respect her as a wild dolphin and do not grab, lunge or chase after her.  If she shows agressive behaviour or is boisterous they should leave the water. This poster was approved by Clare County Council and 20 posters were distributed locally on Thursday morning. The local lifeguards were consulted and posters tied to the railings on the pier. The ferry boat operators working out of Doolin were especially grateful that somebody was addressing this issue and an additional 10 posters have been sent to Doolin so every vessel can display them.

IWDG acknowledges that many people have had a fantastic encounter with Dusty and have built up a personal relationship with the dolphin.  However IWDG is very concerned that many visitors, especially in the summer, do not recognise the signals that Dusty sends out when she is not happy with their behaviour.  Ignoring such signs or behaving inappropriately has led on a number of occasions to aggressive interactions with some people being severly injured.

If this continues, it may lead to a fatality and there will be strong pressure to remove or destroy the dolphin. If you really are concerned about Dusty you will not swim with her, or at least if you do,  you should show her the respect a wild dolphin is entitled to. Dusty has been in North Clare at least since 2000, where she was first seen around "the jump" near Doolin. The IWDG held a public meeting in 2000 to discuss with the local community what might be the implications and consequences of her long-term presence in the area. That winter she moved to Fanore and also spent extended periods in Miltown Malbay but has now returned to Doolin.

IWDG, together with the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation will continue to monitor the sitauation and work with the local community and authorities to ensure the dolphin, and people, do not come to harm.

A PDF of the poster can be downloaded from www.iwdg.ie

We are delighted to announce that Blessing Sanyanga will be launching his Blueprint Exhibition at World Oceans Day celebrations at the aquarium on Sunday the 2nd June! He will also be running some sculpting workshops, so now is your chance to come along and learn from the experts!


Blueprint Exhibition: Summer 2013

I am delighted to present Blueprint, an exhibition of sea life sculptures in Italian marble, Irish limestone and bog-oak.

The idea the exhibition stems from the influence that the sea has had on my work ove the last eleven years. The transition from Zimbabwe, a land-locked country to Ireland, an island surrounded by the sea has caused a gradual change in both my choice of subject matter and the progression in my style of work. Our surroundings are an integral source of ideas and this is definitely true for Blueprint. Whether we like it or not, all creation is inspired by nature.

As human beings we are connected to the sea, using her resourcers, power and nature for our benefit. Ireland has a particularly strong connection to the sea and a rich heritage of seafaring people. I have enjoyed time getting to know the coast of Ireland and exploring the sea and its dominant nature on the landscape, culture and music of Ireland.

Each of the sculptures has a story to tell. The shark, master of the ocean, powerfully swishes through the sea, confident that he has been engineered by nature to a more sophisticated extent than humans could ever attempt. The mermaid, mythical temptress of the sea sings out an enchanting song from the shore.

I pay great attention to the selection of each stone and strive to find stones with individual character and personality. My father used to remind me, “Choose a stone that talks to you, a stone you can see through.” Each sculpture is a one-off and is made by working straight into the stone, without models or sketches. I place more emphasis on using imagination as a tool to visualize the piece. My fascination with natural shapes and details has led me to recognise bog oak as a suitable material to diversify the scope of my creations.

I invite you to join me this summer for a celebration of the sea.

Blessing Sanyanga, May 2013.

For more information about the exhibition check out :