World Oceans Day Celebrations on Sunday, 7th June 2015 


Celebrate this year’s World Ocean Day with lots of family activities at the Galway Atlantaquaria,

designed to raise awareness of Ireland’s Incredible Marine Resources and Heritage and the

importance of Ocean Conservation.


See displays focused on Irish Marine Animals and Heritage. Explore ocean-focus information

throughout demonstrations on marine research, seashore foraging, marine litter and marine leisure 














Be inspired by talks on resources from the sea, marine initiatives, marine careers and marine safety.

Get creative with Pirate Black John cartoon drawing, Susie Quinn Marine Art Designs, Jumping Clay and

Origami Marine Model making.


Exhibits, demonstrations and talks will run from 11am  -5pm. Reduced admission will apply on the day. 

Children who come dressed as a marine creature or character will receive Free Entry to the event. Check out for all our updates and news. 




Launch of New Exhibits, on Sunday, the 7th December 

Galway Atlantaquaria is happy to launch 2 new exhibits to help raise awareness about marine litter. On Sunday,

7th December we'll be unveiling a new interactive exhibit - ‘Trash Gnasher’ which was donated by the Ryan

Institute. It will be here on a permanent display. People can take the ‘’Trash Gnash’’ computer challenge to try

their hand at cleaning up our oceans.

Dr .Sarah Knight from the Martin Ryan Institute NUIG will launch the exhibit between 11am and 1pm and will

assist visitors with writing postcards to the Ocean. While Mr Ashley Bennison from UCC will ask our visitors to

take part in a litter sandbox challenge.

Marine litter is one of the most pervasive global pollution concerns resulting from human behaviour. It has a

substantial impact on marine environment and human health.

The second display is the Marlisco Marine Litter installation, which we are delighted to have on loan from the

Marlisco Project, Ireland. It aims to inform community of both the problems and the potential solutions relating

to littering. 






Explorers Maths Workshop


This workshop, which is suitable for primary school students, can be tailored to suit classes from junior infants upwards. Schools will take part in a guided tour of the aquarium, with maths integrated throughout and a special maths activity in our classroom.


Maths Challenges will include:


·         Finding out who there is more of in the aquarium, starfish or lobsters?

·         Estimating and measuring our Fin Whale Skeleton

·         Helping us complete the aquarium work timetable

·         Investigating marine food chains and marine litter during our fishing game (senior cycle)

·         Sorting shells and creating patterns (junior cycle)

·         Measuring the height the our lighthouse (Senior Cycle)

·         Comparing and sorting marine animals (junior cycle)

·         Completing Tarsia Puzzles (Senior Cycle)


      Length: 2 - 2.5 hours

Cost: €6.75 per student


Students will be provided with a maths worksheet and a certificate of participation.


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