Scoil Chualann pupils sup­port shark pro­tec­tion pro­gramme

Bray People - - Kilmacanoguediary -

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.

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