August 28th, 2018
The World Ocean Film Festival visits Ireland for the first time with inspiring movies to spread awareness and join all the ocean lovers in one event.
The festival arrives in Dublin on 13 September with screenings set for the National Concert Hall and at The Everyman in Co Cork on 14 September.
“The organizers thought it would be a great opportunity to tell the amazing stories that come from the ocean,” Rosie Fuller, the coordinator of the event told The Green News, adding that they wish to encourage people to protect such “an incredible but endangered parts of the planet”.
Ms Fuller said that the sea is a huge part of Irish people’s lives with such spectacular coastlines. This is why it seemed “natural” to bring the festival to Ireland, she said.
The Film Festival that started in Australia to inspire people to explore, respect, enjoy and protect oceans celebrates its fifth successful year in the UK. The Director of the tour, Nell Teasdale, said that they are excited to add Ireland to their list.
“Through stunning cinematography and mesmerising storytelling, audiences can expect to be wowed by the magic and mysteries of the world’s oceans,” he added.
Ms Fuller said that the tour is working with local ocean orientated charities who are organizing local beach cleanups and are helping to raise awareness at the venues.
The festival will also donate a percentage of every ticket sold to the UK based charity Surfers Against Sewage.
Ireland’s marine environment
Ireland’s marine environment is facing many issues, with nearly 50 Ireland’s marine species facing extinction and exhaustion of one-fifth of Ireland’s commercial fishing species, alongside with other global issues, such as plastic pollution and other climate change effects to the ocean.
Earlier this year a motion brought by the Green Party was passed calling for the Government to protect half of Ireland’s seas and ocean with the community-driven Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
The motion calls on the Government to publish an Oceans Bill which would meet its European and International obligations to protect 50 per cent of its coasts and seas through marine protection.
In a recent report, the Irish Wildlife Trust indicated that Ireland has failed to establish the network of MPAs to the levels required under EU law.
The international target requires Ireland to protect 10 per cent of waters by 2020 and 30 per cent by 2030. However, currently, only two per cent of Irish waters are protected, the second lowest rate in Europe.
The vast majority of this is for estuarine and coastal waters, with little to no protection of Irish deep-sea waters to date despite possessing a marine territory 10 times our land mass.