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The Ocean Research Conservation Association of Ireland (ORCA Ireland) intends to deploy a data buoy as an aid to navigation off the South Coast of Ireland this weekend.

The deployment will take place on Saturday 22 April, subject to weather and operational constraints. The buoy will remain in place until November.

The buoy will be deployed by the vessel Sabrina II (callsign EIQR2), a RO-RO barge. During the deployment, this vessel will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre. All other vessels are requested to leave a wide berth during the deployment operation.

Further details, including coordinates, a map and contact information, can be found in Marine Notice No 32 of 2023 attached below.

Published in Coastal Notes

It’s feared that at least one whale stranded in Donegal in recent days may have died as a result of Russian military exercises in the North Atlantic.

According to The Irish Sun, a marine wildlife expert investigating the stranding of a female whale at Maghery on Wednesday (16 February) said it appeared “deflated” and that its internal organs had “liquefied”.

Stephanie Levesque, a strandings officer with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), noted that it is not yet confirmed how recently the animal died but said: “We can’t rule anything out at this point.”

It’s understood that sperm whales, which can dive as much as 800 metres in search of food, can risk their lives by surfacing too fast when disturbed by sonar often employed by military vessels.

But disturbances caused by this week’s double whammy of Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice may have played a significant role.

A second sperm whale found at Malin Head on Thursday (17 February) was also deemed unusual.

Commenting on social media, the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA) Ireland said: “What stood out was this animals teeth were very worn! Sperm [whales] are the largest toothed predator in the world.”

Before Russia agreed to move its planned military exercises out of Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan warned that the activity could have “devastating consequences” for marine mammals in the area.

Such concerns prompted the IWDG to back the call from the fishing industry for a moratorium on any and all military exercises within the Irish EEZ.

Published in Marine Wildlife

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