I was surprised to learn that there are not more stringent regulations on waste in coastal waters. We were informed by our guide that untreated sewage is sometimes released through a pipeline that leads out into the bay. I would have assumed that this issue would not be allowed to persist.
In Hawaii we view the coastline as a resource with a wealth of food items. We place a great value on a limpet species that we call opihi. In Ireland they have large limpets also but the waters are so polluted it wouldn't be safe to eat them. The main resource collected from the sea besides fish is dulse a type of red algae. This algae is collected in areas that do not have residential waste inputs.
Previously fishing was a large part of the employment sector in western Ireland, now with treaties with the European Union that sector has greatly shrunk. This break with traditional occupations is having a detrimental impact on the people who live in these remote areas. The lack of economic opportunity causes younger generations to relocate to urban centers.
Strangely enough Bundoran has a vibrant surfing culture. Surfing originated in polynesia and has since spread around the globe. One of the reasons that I was so surprised that there was surfing this far north is the temperature of the water. This issue was dealt with by donning a wet suit, this created a problem of mobility. I guess iʻm spoiled in Hawaii where the water is warm enough year round for unprotected bathing. I was truly uncomfortable while putting on the wetsuit but it made a huge difference when we got in the water.
The people at the Donegal Adventure Center hooked us up with wet suits and 9ʻ spongy boards. We went down to Tullen Strand and got into the Atlantic Ocean, a first for me. We had a brief class on surfing and then gave it a shot. I was able to get to my knees but my mobility was to limited to stand up. I was good craic none the less.