IWDG regret proposal to close Exploris Aquarium, Co Down1st Oct 2013
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) regrets the proposal to close the Exploris Aquarium in County Down. While acknowledging the difficult economic times all local authorities and governments face, marine awareness and education is essential if we are to understand and manage our marine resources.
The IWDG is a registered charity covering the entire Isle of Ireland. The IWDG aims not only to raise awareness of cetaceans in our waters but to educate the public about the wonders of our sea. Exploris Aquarium is a fantastic resource for the education, promotion and conservation of marine life. It offers visitors to and residents of Northern Ireland a fantastic opportunity to experience marine life, inspiring and motivating our younger generation. IWDG have delivered a number of whale and dolphin courses and events in collaboration with Exploris who have acted as IWDG contacts for cetacean strandings and sightings in Co. Down for many years.
Exploris is on the shores of Strangford Lough, which is set to become Northern Ireland’s first Marine Conservation Zone under the Marine Bill. It's a critical and exciting time for the people of the Ards Peninsula, and a time when we should be taking upmost pride in our marine resources.
The IWDG are relieved that Ards Borough Council has deferred a decision to close Exploris for the next two months and we urge involvement from central government within Northern Ireland, public stakeholders and the general public to ensure that Exploris does not close its doors.
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