Displaying items by tag: Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
#MARINE WILDLIFE - "Until a mere couple of decades ago, virtually all we knew of the variety and distribution of the whales and dolphins around Ireland was judged from the catches of a short-lived Norwegian whaling station in north Co Mayo in the early 20th century and years of random recording..."
So writes Michael Viney in last Saturday's Irish Times, as he welcomes the 21th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
"It can celebrate magnificent achievements," he writes, "both in turning so many Irish eyes seaward and in launching a new chapter in the island’s natural history."
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the IWDG will be hosting its 21st anniversary banquet at the Grand Hotel in Malahide this Saturday.
Over the past two decades, it has grown from its core work of creating a proper record of stranded cetaceans, to cataloguing the diverse array of living whales and dolphins that populate Ireland's waters today, adding "new knowledge" of "international interest" every year.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - A stranded dolphin was rescued at Duncannon on Monday last week, the New Ross Standard reports.
After being spotted by a member of Fethard-on-Sea RNLI, the dolphin was aided by the lifeboat crew, with advice from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.
The juvenile dolphin, who appeared to show no distress from the incident, was taken out to see and released in deep water off Templetown strand.
A spokesperson for Fethard-on-Sea RNLI said the crew were "'especially pleased to have undertaken such a rescue mission with a successful outcome".
#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Evening Herald has highlighted the work of a new union of wildlife protection groups which is training volunteers to act the event of serious environmental threats to Ireland's sea bird population.
Wildlife rescue volunteer Pauline Beades from Garristown in north Co Dublin has been working with Ireland's animal groups to change the official approach to wildlife - particularly birds - that get caught in oil spills.
The Irish Seal Sanctuary, Birdwatch Ireland, the ISPCA, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), Coastwatch and Irish Wildlife Trust have written a joint "letter of comfort" for the Irish Coast Guard, which is the State body charged with dealing with coastal oil spills.
The groups have pledged to work together in the event of any oil spill that involves a threat to marine wildlife.
Their response plan involves an initial wave of volunteers walking beaches to gather affected animals and providing first aid, followed by transfering them to veterinarians in specialised field hospitals, as well as facilities for longer-term care.
Recently Beades helped train volunteers in Limerick, who also attended lectures and demonstrations from visiting wildlife rescue experts from Europe to prepare for any potential sea-borne wildlife emergency.
#TALL SHIPS - RTÉ News reports that the Celtic Mist is finally in dry dock for refurbishment to begin its new life as a maritime research vessel.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 52-foot yacht - which was gifted by the Haughey family to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) to assist in its marine wildlife conservation work - relocated to its new berth at Kilrush, Co Clare in July.
This followed its last jaunt at sea earlier this year, completing a leg of the Tall Ships Races from Waterford to Greenock.
The cost of refurbishing the yacht for research and training purposes is expected to top €60,000, with an annual running cost of some €20,000, for which the IWDG is seeking ongoing financial assistance.
The group aims to get the Celtic Mist back at sea before next summer.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has announced two new reports of whale spottings off the Irish coast in recent days.
On 14 October the east coast rescue helicopter spotted a group of at least five lunge-feeding whales just four miles off Dunany Point on the southern side of Dundalk Bay.
Their relatively small size, white banding on the pectoral fin and absense of any obvious blow confirmed them to be minkes - a marine wildlife record for the area.
"This is further proof, not that it is needed, that there is a growing list of places outside of the expected 'hotspots' where whale activity is now being documented," said the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley.
Yet more were spotted on the opposite coast the day after, when Nick Massett reported up to a dozen minke whales in a 1.5-mile box off Slea Head, near Dingle.
Meanwhile, this week a group of four killer whales was observed by the FV Celtic Cross on the prawn grounds off Co Louth, travelling in a north-westerly direction towards Dundalk Bay.
"There may well be something very interesting happening in this section of the Irish Sea that is attracting both baleen and toothed whale in the same area," said Whooley.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has said that evidence suggests a pod of three bottlenose dolphins is living on the east coast of Ireland.
According to RTÉ News, the organisation as validated close to 200 sightings of the dolphins - one of whom was spotted off Co Down in October 2010 - along the Dublin and Wicklow coastline in the last year.
The IWDG's Pádraig Whooley says that further analysis of theor movements show that they rarely travel north beyond Dalkey Island or south of Wicklow town, indicating a core range of 21 miles (33km).
"Remarkably, they seem to split their time evenly between their Dublin and Wicklow hotspots, thus making them extremely easy to locate, observe and photograph," he adds.
"In fact... the best way to find them other than checking this site, is probably to jump on a DART train in Dun Laoghaire bound for Greystones (or visa versa), making sure to look out the correct window."
While well known for being "boisterous, interactive and gregarious", bottlenose dolphins are also "indescriminate killers of porpoises and other dolphin species, with well-documented cases of infanticide".
Neither are they to be taken lightly by swimmers, with "a case load in Ireland of attacks on swimmers leading to serious injury, and at least one overseas case of [a bottlenose] killing a swimmer.
"It's nice to be able to boast of an apex predator lurking so close to the capital," says Whooley.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is offering a limited number of places to non-members on its two upcoming autumn/winter whale-watching weekends in Co Cork.
The weekends, based at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery, are geared towards sightings of larger marine wildlife – specifically fin and humpback whales, which are commonly sighted in West Cork between October and December.
Two weekends are scheduled, on 28-30 Octover and 25-27 November, and both will include presentations as well as plenty of whale-watching opportunities on land and at sea.
The IWDG has also negotiated a special weekend rate of €120 at the Celtic Ross Hotel which includes two nights' B&B, an evening meal and a packed lunch.
The weekends are being booked in succession, both limited to 12 bookings, with seven places currently remaining for the first weekend. The IWDG warns that the trips are not suited to anyone in poor health or prone to sea-sickness, and that as always whale spottings cannot be guaranteed.
Anyone interested in attending or wishing to enquire further can contact Pádraig Whooley at [email protected] or 023 8838761, or write to the IWDG, Dereen, Rossmore, Clonakilty, Co Cork.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will celebrate its 21st anniversary at a special banquet on Saturday 19 November at the Grand Hotel in Malahide, Co Dublin.
The evening will consist of a three-course meal and entertainment including music and dancing, a film show of IWDG activities over the years, an international guest speaker (to be announced) exploring the impact of the IWDG on cetacean recording.
The marine wildlife conservation group's AGM will take place earlier in the day at the Grand Hotel at 2pm.
Tickets for the banquet are €60 - book early as places are limited to 120. To book contact Shay Fennelly at [email protected] or 087 642 8902.
Overnight accommodation is also available at the Grand Hotel with special rates for banquet guests of €90 for a single room and €110 for a double/twin room. To book contact Hilary Fogarty, quoting IWDG as the reference, at 01 845 0000, 01 816 8281 or [email protected].
The infamous Celtic Mist is set to be used to track one of the most elusive marine animals in Irish waters.
The Irish Examiner reports that one of the first duties of the yacht under its new ownership by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will be to track down the blue whale, the last of which was spotted off the Irish coast in 2009.
"We’ve made two sightings of the blue whale on the shelf edge but with the Celtic Mist we will be able to go out there for a few weeks and sit there and wait for them," said the IWDG's Dr Simon Berrow.
"Hopefully we will find some more when we bring the Celtic Mist out there. They are very rare."
The blue whale is regarded as the largest animal to have ever lived on earth. They also have an average lifespan of well over 100 years.
As previously reported by Afloat.ie, Celtic Mist was gifted by the Haughey family to the IWDG earlier this year to assist in its marine conservation work.
The yacht competed in a leg of the 2011 Tall Ships Race from Waterford to Scotland before moving to its new home in Co Clare, where it will be refitted for its new life as a research vessel.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has published a notice for its plans to refit the yacht Celtic Mist as a research vessel.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Celtic Mist was gifted to the IWDG by the Haughey family to help the group in its marine wildlife conservation work.
Under its new ownership, it completed a leg of this year's Tall Ships Race and found a new home at a sponsored berth at Kilrush, Co Clare.
Currently the IWDG is applying to the Clare Local Development Company for LEADER funding towards the refit.
IWDG co-ordinator Dr Simon Berrow said: "We are eligible for 75% funding but need to provide 25% funding ourselves. We estimate this to be in the region of €12,500.
"Celtic Mist has already cost IWDG around €5,000-7,500 so we must start a fundraising campaign to cover these and other costs."
Anyone who wishes to contribute to the fundraising campaign can contact the IWDG at [email protected]. All donations above €250 are tax deductable.