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Marine Wildlife
Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)
Ireland has been referred to the European Court of Justice for failing to transpose the Water Framework directive into national law correctly. The directive provides a framework for protecting inland and coastal waters and groundwater by preventing pollution and protecting…
A white-tailed sea eagle which was brought to Ireland as a chick from Norway was poisoned, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has confirmed. The bird had been a healthy juvenile male but was found dead on lands between…
Internal waves off Northern Trinidad this image was taken from the International Space Station
What do the Loch Ness monster, the El Nino effect and dead water at sea have in common? All may be associated with internal waves, a phenomenon of wave motion in which Dr David Henry of the School of Mathematical…
A 50kg adult female loggerhead turtle was discovered in December 2021 on Muighinis Beach near Carna in Connemara in a comatose state. The turtle never regained consciousness and died despite the best efforts of Galway Atlantaquaria staff
Concern has been expressed over reports of endangered loggerhead turtles washing up on Irish and British shores in recent days, as BreakingNews.ie reports. The remains of a deceased loggerhead turtle were found at Port Glais in Co Mayo over the…
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group report says that deep-sea habitats are “currently largely unexplored by man and far removed from all human settlements”, and it is “difficult for many people to appreciate what impacts deep sea mining might have on marine habitats and resources”.
Deep-sea mining for scarce minerals and trace elements may have a “catastrophic impact” on the ocean floor, a study by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group warns. The International Seabed Authority (ISA), which Ireland is a member of, “lacks transparency”,…
Celtic Mist - in a confused sea she can turn anyone's stomach
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group are planning major modifications to their flagship, Celtic Mist. This is the former yacht of Charlie Haughey, which was donated to the Group by the Haughey family in his memory. The 56-foot motor sailing…
Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan
Ireland’s plan to halt biodiversity decline in the marine and terrestrial environment is to be put on a statutory footing, Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan has said. Mr Noonan also said he intends to introduce stronger biodiversity responsibilities…
The Government has approved two new Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) off the northwest and south coast
The Government has approved two new Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) off the Irish coast. The two areas selected under the EU Habitats Directive extend over a combined area of three million hectares, according to Minister of State for Heritage…
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue today welcomed the decision by the EU Commission to adopt the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) Programme 2021-27 for Ireland.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue today welcomed the decision by the EU Commission to adopt the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) Programme 2021-27 for Ireland. “I am pleased to announce that today the EU…
Sample of fin whale dorsal fins on the new Irish fin whale ID catalogue
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has combed through years of accumulated images to make a start on its new photo identification catalogue for fin whales in Irish waters. And the group is calling on anyone with good-resolution images…
Rescue and recovery of the limestone slab containing the fossil sea urchins at Hook Head, Wexford.
A group of sea urchins which died together on the seafloor almost 350 million years ago have been found in fossilised form at Hook Head, Co Wexford, by a team of scientists. "Experts from University of Galway’s school of natural…
Philanthropist Wendy Schmidt made history at the Barcolana 54 in Trieste, Italy, becoming the first woman and the first American to win the world’s largest sailing race
In honour of her victory as the first woman and first American to win the world’s largest sailing race, the Barcolana 54, philanthropist Wendy Schmidt announced today she will support the educational outreach and conservation activities of the Marine Biodiversity…
Jack Porter, Loughs Agency; Angela Dobbins, Deputy Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council; Mark Langtry (Mark the Science Guy); Zach James, Loughs Agency
Loughs Agency’s 'Water Warriors' events took place this week in the Foyle and Carlingford catchment areas. The events, which form part of the Agency’s Foyle & Carlingford Ambassador Programmes, attracted hundreds of post-primary pupils to partake in a 'fully immersive'…
Clockwise from left: Cerys Johnston (age 10) and Hugo Johnston (12), Oscar Ó Cuaig (11), Florence O’Donnell (12) and Edith O’Donnell (8) celebrate with author Cushla Dromgool-Regan as the deep-sea black seadevil anglerfish is voted one of the ugliest fish in the ocean at the launch of the Explorers Education Programme’s new book and resources at the Galway Science & Technology Festival
The black seadevil anglerfish was voted as “one of the ugliest deep-sea fish species” during the launch of the new Explorers Education Programme book and resources, The Good, The Bad + The Ugly: Deep Sea Species, which took place at…
Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action's Report on Biodiversity was published this month
An Oireachtas committee has said that greater consultation with the fishing industry must be “facilitated” to provide better planning around marine protected areas (MPAs) and offshore wind farms. In a report on biodiversity loss, the Joint Committee on Environment and…
The Focus on Local Authority Environmental Enforcement – Performance Report 2021” report is available on the EPA website
Local authorities need to take a more strategic approach to tackling the decline in water quality, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says. A report by the EPA shows that less than half of the 620 performance assessments undertaken across 20…

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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