New marine species unveiled


Northern Ireland Environment Minister Arlene Foster has unveiled the results of extensive research into the natural environment - including the discovery of 29 new marine species off Rathlin Island.

Over 250 delegates from across the environmental community gathered at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast to hear about the latest research on Northern Ireland's natural environment.

The conference - organised by Environment and Heritage Service - showcased research carried out by staff, partner organisations and contractors and spanned a wide variety of topics - from particular habitats and species, to the broad issues which threaten our environment, such as climate change.

The Minister said - "Research is vital to enable us all to make informed or evidence-based decisions. Not only is this research important for decision makers, but it is also revealing lots of fascinating information about our natural environment - such as the fact that 29 new species of sponges have been discovered off the coast of Rathlin Island. Until a few years ago, nobody knew these species existed. It just goes to show how much there is still to discover about our wonderful natural environment."

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