Amazing ocean facts for junior marine explorers

The Explore Your Shore project is encouraging families to take part in marine biodiversity surveys and they have set out some interesting facts to appeal to younger would-be marine biologists
Amazing ocean facts for junior marine explorers

Explore Your Shore is a Citizen Science project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency focused on increasing our knowledge of our intertidal species, such as the leatherback turtle

Ireland has over 3,000 km of coastline and yet we have relatively few records of our marine species. 

Explore Your Shore is a Citizen Science project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency focused on increasing our knowledge of our intertidal species, finding out what they tell us about water quality and climate change, and highlighting actions we can all take to help our marine environment.

1. Marine Biodiversity is the term we use to describe every single living thing in our ocean from bacteria to a blue whale (which is the biggest animal EVER to live on earth!).

2. Blue Whales have been seen feeding on tiny shrimp called krill in the Porcupine Seabight off the southwest coast of Ireland and they migrate along our west coast every Autumn and Winter.

3. Every Second Breath you take is thanks to our Ocean. Scientists have calculated that marine algae – including seaweeds and phytoplankton - have produced 50-80% of the world's oxygen!

4. The Icelandic Cyprine, a shellfish that lives off the Irish coast, is the world’s longest-lived animal, with one individual known as ‘Ming’ calculated to have lived for 507 years!

Icelandic Cyprine
Icelandic Cyprine

5. Basking sharks are the second biggest shark in the world and live in Irish waters! They live entirely on tiny marine creatures which they filter out of the water using rakes on their gills!

A Basking Shark
A Basking Shark

6. Manx Shearwaters are seabirds that rear their chicks on islands off the Irish coast, however, they spend their winters off the coast of Argentina… that’s a round journey of 20,000 km each year!

Manx Shearwater
Manx Shearwater

7. Ireland has coral reefs which are found at depths of up to 1km below the ocean surface to the west of Ireland and are home to an amazing diversity of creatures.

8. The leatherback turtle is the largest sea turtle on the entire earth and this amazing creature visits Irish waters each summer to feed on jellyfish!

You can take part in our Explore Your Shore surveys and help us find out more about Ireland’s marine biodiversity. Find out more at www.exploreyourshore.ie.

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