Scoil Chualann pupils support shark protection programme
CHILDREN from Scoil Chualann National School have become the first in the country to support a Europe-wide plea for the development of a comprehensive protection and conservation policy for shark species in Irish and international waters.
The plea was made by Ireland’s National Sea Life Centre last Monday at the launch of the second annual European Shark Week, which runs all this week until Sunday October 19.
The young Bray First Class pupils came face-toface with their tiny finned counterparts when staff from the National Sea Life Centre brought a group of baby sharks into the classroom in a bid to help dispel the killer image of sharks.
Introduced by Centre Director Pat Ó Súilleabháin, the budding young marine scientists met small lesser spotted dogfish, otherwise known as the smallspotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula), that were born in the National Sea Life Centre.
The children also had the opportunity to get to see the eggs of these sharks, otherwise known as Mermaid’s Purses’ so-called because the translucent sacs allow you to see the young sharks growing inside the egg!
Also attending the European Shark Week launch was stunning 2008 Face of Bray Aimee Doyle who was welcomed back to her national school for the first time since own schooldays by School Principal Carmel Uí Ghairbhín.
National Sea Life Centre which operates a native shark breeding programme and is home to Ireland’s only dedicated shark nursery is running a series of weeklong events to support European Shark Week.
These include collecting signatures to add to the 20,000 signatures already collected across Europe in support of a strong plan to support the protection and conservation of sharks in Europe.
Further details on European Shark Week are available online at www.sealife.ie or at www.europeansharkweek.org
Face of Bray Aimee Doyle with pupils Blaithin Ni Mhurchu and Sally Howard.
Aimee Doyle with Seana Ni Cheallaigh.