Island Marine Station was founded in 1975 by Matt Murphy and
his late wife, Eileen and was run by Matt and his family until
2015, when project work ceased. Now Matt is retired and, with
the help of his family, is working towards an archive of data
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 large complex of 5 laboratories
and a library of some 100,000 books, journals, reports, reprints,
together with an herbarium of plants and seaweeds.
aims of the Station were:
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 was staffed by volunteer scientists who came to the
Station and normally stay from April to November. They received
full board and a small allowance.
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 received no State aid for its research. In
many ways this was our strength. We could decide on any research
which we believed was necessary. There was been no outside
influence on the Station since it was founded in 1975. We
looked for advise on scientific matters from scientists worldwide,
many of whom had been to Sherkin.
Island Marine Station organised the major environmental conference
in Ireland every April/May. Since 1975 the Station organised
40 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.
with creating an archive of data, the Station is now concentrating
on producing an online quarterly newsletter on nature and
the environment, entitled "Nature's
Web". We have produced a collection of colouring
book publications, designed specifically for children,
as well as other publications (see Publications Page).
Station has 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, received"Sherkin
Comment", our environmental newpaper.
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,
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
and Limerick Savings BAnk Award
of the Environment Awareness Award
Cork Person of the Month Award
of the Environment Awareness Awards
Endeavour Awards (Matt Murphy)
Endeavour Awards (Audrey Murphy's School Visits)
Person of the Month (October)
Winner in the AIB Better Ireland Awards - A Local & Provincial
ESB Community Awards
Mayor's Award, Cork City Council
Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management
County Council Mayor's Community Awards, Western Divison
County Council Mayor's Community Awards, Overall Award
Environmental Forum, Roll of Honour Award
© Sherkin Island Marine