Island Marine Station was founded in 1975 by Matt Murphy and
his late wife, Eileen and is run by Matt and his family. Sherkin
Island is situated one-and-a-quarter miles off the south-west
coast of Ireland, off-shore from the fishing village of Baltimore.
The Marine Station is located on the north-west end of the
island on 16 acres. The Station originated in 1975 from a
small laboratory of 140 sq. ft. to a now large complex of
5 laboratories and a library of some 100,000 books, journals,
reports, reprints, together with an herbarium of plants and
aims of the Station are:
establish baseline data on the marine life of the coastline
from Cork Harbour and Bantry Bay and to record the natural
changes in the plant and animal communities.
raise the level of awareness of the marine environment in
Ireland and the potential of the sea to create jobs.
help introduce young people to nature via Sherkin
Comment and through educational programmes.
station is staffed by volunteer scientists who come to the
Station and normally stay from April to November. They receive
full board and a small allowance.
undertaken long-term monitoring surveys and projects which
include the rocky shore, plankton, otters, birds, underwater,
macrofauna, rockpools, insects and plants. The Station is
recognised as having established the longest monitoring programme
and most extensive database on phytoplankton in Ireland. Sherkin
Island Marine Station receives no State aid for its research.
In many ways this has been our strength. We can decide on
any research which we believe is necessary. There has been
no outside influence on the Station since it was founded in
1975. We look for advise on scientific matters from scientists
worldwide, many of whom have been to Sherkin.
Island Marine Station organises the major environmental conference
in Ireland every April/May. Since 1975 the Station has organised
36 conferences and workshops on the mainland and the island.
years, Audrey Murphy, the youngest of Matt Murphy's children,
visited primary schools where she gave talks on the environment
and the sea. Her visits to primary schools consisted of a
slide show of sea creatures found around Ireland. The programme
was set up to give children a small glimpse of the sea which
might spark further interest.
is now concentrating on producing a web-based quarterly newsletter
on nature and the environment, entitled "Nature's
Web". We are continuing to add to the Station's collection
of colouring book publications,
designed specifically for children. We are also involved in
preparing boxes of educational material which are sent to
a number of primary schools around the country.
has written a couple of booklets, based on a character "Grainne
Gull". These are entitled "Grainne Gull Visits the
Seashore" and "Grainne gull Visits the Countryside",
and are presented to each school, along with other books on
Station also runs an annual Environmental
Competition for Primary School Children in Munster, giving
primary schools a further opportunity to focus on the environment.
in Munster have, for a number of years, been receiving "Sherkin
Comment", our environmental newpaper. At present
we print 24,000 copies and frankly we do a lot of praying
that the advertising will meet our costs. So far the Lord
is on our side!
years, from the early 1980s to the late 1990s, Sherkin Island
Marine Station held an exhibition at Connolly Hall, Cork,
with attendance figures at each one-week exhibition in the
region of 8,000. The exhibition included over 20 tanks containing
marine animals such as lobsters, crabs, butterfish, cod, starfish,
is now a permanent and free exhibition about Sherkin Island
Marine Station, situated at The Islander's Rest, Sherkin Island,
Taisce award for practical conservation
Life Member of the Institute for Biology of Ireland
of Fame Award - West Cork Festival
Award - Cork Speakers Club
West Cork Awards - Enterprise
Merit Award - The Institution of Water & Environment Management
of the Environment Awareness Award
Cork Person of the Month Award
of the Environment Awareness Awards
Endeavour Awards (Audrey Murphy's School Visits)
Person of the Month (October)
Winner in the AIB Better Ireland Awards - A Local & Provincial
Mayor's Award, Cork City Council
© Sherkin Island Marine