She saw sea shells on the sea shore

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - LIFESTYLE -

SHE saw sea shells on the sea shore... And so much more!

The Ir­ish Coast is teem­ing with life; even if at first glance the beach or ocean looks empty, it’s likely there is some­thing amaz­ing hid­ing just be­low the sur­face or un­der a rock.

Kerry has one of the long­est coast­lines in Ire­land and of­fers the pos­si­bil­ity of find­ing some­thing in­cred­i­ble. We just need to take the time to look. Our wa­ters are teem­ing with crea­tures from elas­mo­branchs (sharks and rays) to cetaceans (whales and dol­phins) and seals. Sharks such as bask­ing sharks and blue sharks can be seen from head­lands, on boats or even by a lucky scuba diver. You might also spot one of the 25 species of whale and dol­phin that can be found around our coast. Minke, fin and hump­back whales are more com­mon whale species to be seen here. See­ing their dis­tinc­tive blow, fin and tail flukes or wit­ness­ing a breach of one of these mag­nif­i­cent leviathans is thrilling.

Ire­land’s wa­ters are also home to har­bour por­poises as well as com­mon and bot­tlenose dol­phins, whose play­ful an­tics around boats are a de­light to be­hold, es­pe­cially when they bow ride a boat for a close up en­counter or leap clear out of the wa­ter.

Closer to shore, rock pools hold a vast ar­ray of sea life that is quite eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble if you know where to look. From crabs hid­ing in the sea­weed to sea stars cling­ing un­der rocks, the in­ter­tidal zone is an ex­treme en­vi­ron­ment in which these an­i­mals live in the ebb and flow of the tide. It is an im­por­tant home for an­i­mals such as sea snails, clams, fish, and anemones. Ad­di­tion­ally, the rock pools and nearby sea­grass and sea­weed beds act as nurs­eries, pro­vid­ing pro­tec­tion for ju­ve­nile an­i­mals such as crabs, lob­sters, prawns and fish.

There is an abun­dance of ocean crea­tures in Ir­ish wa­ters; the sea is in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing and there is so much to learn. It is easy to find out more about this mys­te­ri­ous world along our coast. Peer into a rock pool, gaze off of a head­land, ex­plore the depths by snor­kel­ing or div­ing, or visit a ma­rine aware­ness cen­tre like multi award win­ning Sea Syn­ergy in Water­ville where you can dis­cover what lies be­neath the Wild At­lantic Way through an in­ter­ac­tive sea life ex­hibit, Seashore Sa­faris ev­ery Fri & Sat, snorkel trips and lots more.

Sea Syn­ergy’s Ma­rine Crea­ture Fea­ture, funded by Kerry County Coun­cil and Lo­cal Agenda 21 re­turned this sum­mer on Sun­day 2nd July and will travel to Blue Flag Beaches around Kerry with an in­ter­ac­tive sea life ex­hibit, in­clud­ing live an­i­mals. Our ma­rine bi­ol­o­gists will tell you many things about the bio­di­ver­sity of Ire­land’s shores.

Dates for the Ma­rine Crea­ture Fea­ture are as fol­lows: Ballinskel­ligs 02/07/17 @ 11:30am, Der­ry­nane 02/07/17 @ 3pm, Bal­ly­heigue 09/07/17 @11:30am, Bally­bunion North Beach 09/07/17 @ 3pm, Ma­her­abeg 13/07/17 @ 11:30, Ven­try 13/07/17 @ 3pm, Ross­beigh 16/07/17 @ 11:30am, Inch 16/07/17 @ 3pm, Whites­trand 17/07/17 @ 11:30am, Kells 17/07/17 @ 3pm, Fenit 18/07/17 @ 11:30am, Banna 18/07/17 @ 3pm.

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