SeaFest 2018 | Marine Science lies at the Heart of the Festival in Galway

It will be no surprise for anybody to hear the team at Coast Monkey are seriously big fans of all things on the Irish coast. Our passion for the coast is what motivated us to start this blog, which is of course all about sharing interesting coastal news and enjoyable events and activities.

And for us the annual maritime festival that is SeaFest in Galway (Friday 29th June to Sunday 1st July) is a major highlight of the year. The fascinating assembly of boats and vessels in the docks, the fun activities on and off the water and the relaxed atmosphere around it all are hard to beat.

But what really makes us happy is that underlying it all is a powerful and all-encompassing environment for learning about our coast.

Marine Science is at the heart of SeaFest

Whether by trying out the water sports like kayaking or sailing, touring one of the many visiting vessels, or attending one of the talks by people who live and work on the coast, there’s a multitude of ways to gain fresh perspectives on our rich and complex coast.

And this new appreciation that visitors gain can only bode well for the the future. A rising tide of ocean literacy can lift our appreciation for the Irish coast, benefiting the whole country, now and into the future.

At SeaFest, Galway Docks will become a hub of activity for three days where visitors will have the opportunity to celebrate our maritime history and discover more about our oceans. Behind the festival is the Marine Institute who aim to put marine science and learning very much at the heart of the festival through aquatic displays, vessel tours and fun activities for the young and old.

Speaking about the upcoming festival Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute said “SeaFest, as well as being a really fun weekend out for families, provides a unique opportunity for the Marine Institute to promote the best of marine science where we can appeal to a whole range of people in a number of ways.”

“From the tours of the RV Celtic Explorer, marine activities at the city museum to the Explorers Education programme and more featured in the Kids Zone, we believe an interest in the marine environment can be cultivated at any age. With all events and activities taking place over the weekend free, it makes it possible for the entire family to enjoy the festival experience and learn about the importance of our oceans.”

The Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer at Galway Docks

Tour the RV Celtic Explorer

Tour the Marine Institute’s marine research vessel RV Celtic Explorer and speak to scientists about the research that is undertaken on board. The vessel is used for fisheries research, oceanographic, hydrographic and geological investigations and seabed mapping.

The RV Celtic Explorer will be open for tours from 2pm – 6pm on Friday, and 10am – 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Members of the public will get to meet marine fisheries scientists and see some of the marine species they have come in contact with through their work. People will also get to see where the scientists sleep, eat and socialise while on board and will get to meet the vessel’s master and crew.

Inspire those budding marine scientists 

Explorers Education Programme

Join the Explorers Education Programme Team for deep blue conservations at Seafest 2018. Take a look inside the Explorers Education Programme ‘Nobby Boat’ tank display and discover some of Ireland’s marine life including some of Ireland’s smallest sharks. You can also see some beautifully crafted marine animals made from marine litter while learning about the sources and impacts this litter has on our marine environment. Visitors will also learn about how we can make #onesmallchange to help protect and care for our marine environments through a selection of games and interactive activities including Fishing for Litter and Ocean Jenga.

Learn with the Marine Institute

Discover the animals and plants that can be found along Ireland’s rocky shores at the Marine Institute Rock Pool. Look through the microscope to see tiny marine organisms that are hidden under rocks, such as tubeworms and barnacles. Marine Institute staff will speak to children and adults about the importance of these marine ecosystems.

Kids can also mould mountains and create patterns in kinetic sand with the INFOMAR Augmented Reality Sandbox. Staff from the INFOMAR programme will be there to talk to kids and adults about mapping Ireland’s seabed.

Explore the underwater world at the Sea Science exhibit

Visit ‘Sea Science – The Wild Atlantic’ at the Galway City Museum

Galway City Museum’s interactive exhibition ‘Sea Science – The Wild Atlantic’ will also be open over the weekend. During the festival weekend, the gallery will be enhanced by a resident scientist who will perform fun, hands-on experiments. Investigate the anatomy of a fish, find out about water pressure, ocean acidification, edible seaweed and more. There will also be marine science experiments on the water cycle, how temperature and salinity affects ocean currents. Kids can also create colourful fish and sea-themed creatures to take home, at a series of workshops taking place at Galway City Museum.

Become an official SeaRover with a mission – Protect the Deep Ocean

2018 is the International Year of the Reef and the Marine Institute scientists will be sharing their stories about using the ROV Holland I to explore Ireland’s cold water coral reefs in Irish waters. Come meet the marine scientists who explore the deep-sea and go on a fantastic underwater adventure, watch the video, see the coral, complete the mission and become a SeaRover!!

For more information on what’s on, visit

Coast Monkey is proud to say we’re helping to promote SeaFest and this article is a part of that effort.

About the Author

Daniel Farrell
Interested in all things on the Irish coast and sharing the best of it. // Email: // Follow on Twitter: @DanielsSeaViews