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Displaying items by tag: Sowerby's beaked whale

A Sowerby’s beaked whale — of a marine wildlife species rarely sighted in Irish waters — has died after getting into distress in Wicklow Harbour, as The Irish Times reports.

According to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), the male whale stranded near Wicklow Sailing Club after losing its bearings yesterday morning, Saturday 4 July.

Sowerby’s beaked whales are one of four out of 22 beaked whale species known to be in Irish waters. They normally inhabit deep waters below 200 metres in the North Atlantic, and are rarely seen by humans.

“From the outset it appeared to be in poor health, appearing disorientated and having difficulty moving. Therefore, it would not have been a candidate for refloating,” the IWDG said in a statement on Facebook.

“Euthanasia is also extremely difficult in these circumstances due to the large size of the animal as well as public safety concerns.”

The whale will be recovered for a full post-mortem to try and “to find out more about the life of these rare and enigmatic whales”, said IWDG chief executive Dr Simon Berrow.

Ten months ago a Sowerby’s beaked whale stranded on a beach near Helvick Head in Co Waterford. While it was refloated twice by local lifeboat volunteers, it was thought unlikely to survive.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Concerns remain for the health of a rare beaked whale refloated from a Co Waterford beach at the weekend, as The Irish Times reports.

The Sowerby’s beaked whale stranded near Helvick Head on Friday (30 August) and was twice returned to the open sea by the local RNLI lifeboat crew.

The incident marks the fourth stranding this year around the coast — and the only live stranding — of a deep water marine wildlife species that’s historically been rare in Irish inshore waters, with only 25 confirmed since records began.

Its fate is currently unknown, but Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) strandings officer Mick O’Connell suggests the situation doesn’t look good.

“Sowerbys usually live in much deeper water 300kms off the west coast — that makes me think it’s unlikely it will survive — it may be sick, but it’s got as good a chance to survive as it could because everything was done locally to get it back out to sea,” he said.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

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