A pod of people at the IWDG annual gathering

16th Dec 2018

The annual gathering of IWDG members took place at the Waterways Ireland Centre in Grand Canal Dock, Dublin in early December. Our AGM is an opportunity for members to learn about what the IWDG have been doing all year, a chance for members to meet the IWDG officers and board and a chance for members to meet other members. It was a good meeting, with people travelling from Cork, Kerry, Clare, Belfast and Donnybrook !

 Membership and Merchandising Officer, Mags Daly welcoming IWDG members to Waterways Ireland Centre

At these meetings there is business to be done such as presentation of audited accounts (available at at http://www.iwdg.ie/aboutus/mission/) and election of the board. Fortuntately the existing board of Directors stood for re-election with Brendan Quinn as Chair and Conal O'Flanagan as Secretary. There were a number of new faces at IWDG including Trea Heapes (Co-ordnator and Communications Officer), Mags Daly (Membership and Merchandising Oficer) and Sean O'Callaghan (Science Officer) who were available to meet members. Familiar faces Pádraig Whooley and Mick O'Connell updated results from the IWDG Sighting and Strandings Schemes and Simon Berrow presented the new IWDG 3 Year Plan (available at at http://www.iwdg.ie/aboutus/mission/), which identifies the priorities for the IWDG over the next three years. 

28 Actions to increase engagement with IWDG members and the public, to share our knowledge and enthusiasm and to promote our conservation actions and priorities were identified in the new 3 Year Plan, which was agreed by members at the AGM. The high priority actions include:

- Website

- appoint an Outreach and Education Officer

- support and promote Local Groups

- Increase Membership

- produce bi-monthly Ezine and twice yearly newsletter

- Increase participation in recording schemes

- Develop policies on fisheries management and promote sustainability

- organise disentanglement training workshop

 

Sightings Officer Pádraig Whooley with the good news about humpback whales and IWDG Strandings Officer Mick O'Connel with the not so good news about common dolphins and Cuviers's beaked whales.

 

A big thank you to all those who joined us for our AGM at the Waterways Ireland Centre in Grand Canal Dock. Your feedback was noted and will be taken on board. .

The IWDG is getting busier every year and really didn't have enough time to present all its work and get enough feedback from members. For next year's AGM, we are hoping to organise a one day "conference" which will can incorporate into our AGM; this will provide a better platform for members to learn about whales and dolphins in Ireland, our work and more importantly to mingle. 

 

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