Belfast Telegraph

Video: Stunning footage shows Northern Ireland's marine life

Stunning new images have given an insight into the marine life living just off Northern Ireland's coastline.

Underwater footage from the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEARA) shows the work of its divers off the north coast.

An agreement is in place between the UK government and OSPAR Convention, an international organisation focused on preserving marine life in the waters of northern Europe.

Over the past 13 years, DEARA has worked to identify and designate marine sites in waters in the north east Atlantic.

As part of its efforts, the Department has a team of six divers who carry out the work and collect images and samples of marine life.

Videos and stills help get a clearer of idea of the various types of sea life inhabiting Northern Ireland's waters, as divers are restricted in the amount of time they can spend underwater.

For example, divers have about 20 minutes on a dive of about 30m before putting themselves at risk of decompression sickness.

Images and footage taken can be sent for further analysis, giving a more comprehensive picture of what exists underwater.

The Department plans to a marine atlas, map viewer online which will allow the public to see the wealth and diversity of marine life for themselves.

Read more about DEARA's efforts here.

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