New documentary delves into the world of fragile corals in Ireland’s ‘deep Atlantic’

A focus on biodiversity and plastics in oceans at national gathering of divers in Limerick

Fragile coral in Ireland’s “deep Atlantic” and the issue of plastics in oceans will be explored in a new documentary which will be previewed at this weekend’s national gathering of divers in Limerick.

Shot by natural history film-maker Ken O'Sullivan, Ireland's Deep Atlantic is due to be broadcast on RTÉ television in late April.

Mr O'Sullivan is one of a number of guest speakers at the Dive Ireland Symposium, in Limerick, which will also exhibit 99 photographic images captured by divers around the Irish coasts.

Winners of the national underwater photography competition will be announced at the gathering. The award for both photography and videography was established in memory of diver Vincent O’Brien.

Some 200 trained search-and-recovery divers, who were involved in 35 call-outs last year including the search for the missing crew of the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 116 helicopter off north Mayo, will also attend the two-day event.

An introduction to jellyfish – described as the "ambassadors of the marine environment" – will be given by NUI Galway scientist Dr Tom Doyle, while Yvonne Lynch will talk about rebreather diving on the wreck of the Lusitania off the Cork coast, and Cathal Mullane will speak about cave diving.

Rory and Tony O’Callaghan will give an overview of the “Seasearch” scheme, which encourages members of diving clubs to record biodiversity at their local dive sites. Over 3,000 species records have been submitted through the scheme to the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

The underwater photography exhibition will embark on a nationwide tour after the Dive Ireland Expo 2018, which runs from March 3rd to 4th at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Limerick.