Displaying items by tag: Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
The 13-metre whale carcass has attracted thousands of onlookers to Omey Island in Co Galway.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the sperm whale was found beached with a broken lower jaw and shed of its skin.
The whale carcass was towed out to sea west of High Island on Thursday after being deemed too large to bury on land.
"Chances are it died offshore and got washed in with the wind," said Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
The IWDG added that such strandings were relatively common, although as reported on Afloat.ie last year there has been growing concern over the rising number of dolphin deaths along the south coast in particular.
IWDG co-ordinator Dr Simon Berrow confirmed a total of 160 strandings reported by year's end.
"This is by far the highest total for the number of stranding records and the third highest total for sighting records since the IWDG recording schemes were established in 1991," he said.
The 2011 record compares to a figure of 92 stranded cetaceans in 2010 - a number much lower than previous years.
Dr Berrow explained to BBC News: "The figures for 2010 were very low, and, we think, this was due to the easterly winds that year. But now we are back up to the kind of level we expect."
Stranding records in 2011 were characterised by a very high peak of common dolphin strandings during February and a high number of porpoise strandings during the winter.
Meanwhile, Dr Berrow considered the latest sightings record "very impressive" given the exceptionally poor sea conditions during autumn and winter.
More than 1,500 whale and dolphin sightings were made in 2011 around the entire coastline of Ireland despite the bad weather.
Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group confirmed that reports had been received of a bottlenose whale on White Strand in Co Clare, a pilot whale on Fintra Beach in Co Donegal and a dolphin in Silverstrand, Co Galway - all found dead.
The latest find was a male sperm whale stranded on Omey Island in Co Galway, shed of its skin and with a broken lower jaw.
"Chances are it died offshore and got washed in with the wind," said Berrow.
The IWDG said such strandings were relatively common, although as reported on Afloat.ie earlier this year there has been growing concern over the rising number of dolphin deaths along the south coast in particular.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - They were thought to have disappeared from the east coast in October after delighting wildlife enthusiasts in Dublin and Wicklow.
But concerns that one of the group had died were swept side when the pod of three bottlenose dolphins was once again spotted off Killiney recently.
The Wicklow People reports that the two adults and one juvenile reappeared almost two weeks ago, and have been seen daily "putting on great displays of leaping, breaching, and tail slapping".
Fears were that tragedy had befallen the group when two bottlenoses were seen off Skerries and Balbriggan in late October, and a juvenile was found dead in Portmarnock shortly after.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, some 200 sightings of the dolphins between Dalkey Island and Wicklow town in recent months were validated by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
According to the IWDG, evidence suggests that the pod is now resident off the east coast.
The Wicklow People has more on the story HERE.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - Sligo County Council is considering its options for disposal after the county's second whale stranding of the winter, when a 60ft male fin whale was beached at Agharrow.
A spokesperson told the Sligo Champion that the whale was in an area known locally as Staid Abbey, lying on a smooth rock ledge that slopes down towards the sea, and is a difficult point to access - particularly in the present stormy conditions.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a whale carcass was washed up at the end of last month not far from Agharrow at Raughley. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has confirmed that this was the first validated stranding recorded of a fin whale in Co Sligo.
That whale had its flesh removed for fertiliser, while its bones were studied by PhD students from NUI Galway ahead of being buried in a nearby field to allow for the natural decomposition of remaining flesh before future preservation.
Afloat.ie recently reported that Waterford was the 'best place to be' for whale watching, with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) confirming fin whale sightings along a 20-mile stretch from Stradbally to Brownstone Head.
Cetacean fans are being advised to keep an eye on the coast from Hook Head to Brownstown headland to catch a glimpse of the fins, which are renowned for their six-foot whale blow.
Whale watchers are also urged to report any sightings to the IWDG online at www.iwdg.ie to help keep its database up to date.
The two seal pups were found in an emaciated and malnourished state by a beach walker on 27 November.
According to Irish Whale and Dolphin Group chair Kevin MacCormick, dead seal strandings are not unusual at this time of year, particularly after stormy weather, and grey seals have an especially high mortality rate.
Tramua wounds and blood found on the seals were put down to predation by seabirds.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - The first recorded sighting of a dolphin in an Irish lake has been reported by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), according to The Irish Times.
The dolphin was spotted in Lough Hyne, a saltwater lake near Baltimore in Co Cork by Skibbereen-based kayaking instructor Jim Kennedy, who filmed it over a number of days.
"To the best of my knowledge, and I’m open to correction, this is the first validated record of a cetacean using an Irish lake," said the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley.
Though there have been no further sightings since then, there is nothing to indicate that the dolphin has yet left the lough for the open sea.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Lough Hyne was also recently visited by a 13-metre fin whale that was sadly found beached in stormy conditions on the Sligo coast this week.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - Last Tuesday heralded an incredible eight whale sighting reports off the Waterford coast, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
Sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley writes that most of the sightings have been confirmed to be fin whales, spotted close to the shore along a 20-mile stretch from Stradbally to Brownstone Head.
"For anyone interested in viewing the planet's second largest animal, clearly Co Waterford is still the place to be," he says.
But West Cork is also a hotspot for whale sightings, as BBC Autumnwatch's recent filming in the area with the IWDG illustrates.
It's expected that the large whale season will extend into February next year.
The IWDG has more on the story HERE.
#TALL SHIPS - Not only has the Celtic Mist finally been lifted into dry dock for refurbishing this week, but the Irish Independent reports that day trips will be offered on the yacht when it returns to the water next summer.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the one-time personal yacht of the late Taoiseach Charles Haughey is being repurposed as a research vessel by new owners the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) at a cost of some €60,000.
In an effort to help fund the 52-foot ketch's refit bill and its estimated €20,000-per-year running costs, members of the public who pay €50 for a 'Celtic Mist Certificate' will be entitled to a day's sailing on board the newly retitled RV Celtic Mist.
IWDG co-ordinator Dr Simon Berrow said: "We've a lot of work to carry out on the yacht before we can take it out for research," IWDG co-ordinator Simon Berrow told the Independent. "We are confident that we can raise the money to run it."
Here's a link to a TV3 clip