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Marine Wildlife
Nimmo spotted on Monday 28 January with Mutton Island in the background
#MarineWildlife - Galway residents have a great opportunity to see a wild dolphin close to the city centre with the return of regular visitor to the Nimmo’s Pier area this week. Nicknamed Nimmo, the solitary bottlenose dolphin was first sighted…
Lophelia pertusa colonising a World War I cargo vessel wreck at 160m, as seen from the ROV Étáin
Shipwrecks off the Irish coast are acting as artificial reefs for corals usually found much deeper in the Atlantic. That’s according to NUI Galway ocean scientist Anthony Grehan, who told the Irish Examiner about his recent surprising find at the…
A Cuvier’s beaked whale surfacing in the Mediterranean, another region where they are considered vulnerable due to sonar activity
#MarineWildlife - Spanish researchers have identified a link between a ban on the use of sonar in waters around the Canary Islands 15 years ago and a reduction in whale strandings in the same region. The Independent reports on the…
Public Lecture On Marine Litter Tonight In Galway
‘Marine litter: are there solutions to this global environmental challenge?’ is the title of a free public lecture at 7pm tonight (Thursday 10 January) in the main concourse of GMIT’s main Galway campus. Prof Richard Thompson from the School of…
One of the new signs in place at Whitestrand at Miltown Malbay in West Clare
Permanent signage now in place at Spanish Point and Whitestrand Miltown Malbay beaches in west Clare hopes to rid the beaches of the scourge of plastic litter. The signs (not made of plastic) ask beachgoers to take away three pieces…
A Cuvier’s beaked whale surfacing in the Mediterranean in July 2016. The deep-ocean species is rarely spotted in the wild but record numbers were stranded on beaches between north-west Ireland and western Scotland last year
#MarineWildlife - New research as ruled out viral outbreak as a cause of mass strandings of deep-ocean beaked whales and others in Scottish and Irish waters last year. As Scotland’s The Herald reports, tissue samples collected from tests on 26…
The whale carcass seen floating belly-up around 53 nautical miles off the Wexford coast by the LÉ Samuel Beckett on Friday 28 December
#MarineWildlife - Naval Service personnel on patrol with the LÉ Samuel Beckett encountered the carcass of a large whale some 50 nautical miles south-east of Ballycotton Lighthouse in the days after Christmas. The “mystery whale” is neither a sighting (which…
Celtic Mist in Iceland in June 2018
To celebrate the recent Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) expedition to Iceland in May-July 2018 onboard Celtic Mist, the IWDG will be undertaking a tour of Ireland to share stories, images and videos of this exciting and challenging marine…
Fruitcake, rescued earlier this month in Co Waterford, is one of the many seals in the care of Seal Rescue Ireland this Christmas period
Seal Rescue Ireland has been awarded €15,000 in funding for its animal welfare efforts going into 2019. The Courtown, Co Wexford-based organisation is one of 108 that received funding awards from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that…
The dolphin spotted in the River Liffey earlier today
A dreary, stormy day in Dublin city centre was brightened with the appearance of a common dolphin swimming up the River Liffey as far as the Loopline Bridge. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says it got its first…
The whale research yacht Song of the Whale joined the RV Celtic Voyager in carrying out acoustic surveys of Irish offshore waters with GMIT researchers
The Beluga whale — a species mainly found in the Arctic Circle — has been recorded in Irish territorial waters as part of a groundbreaking three-year research project into our offshore habitats for marine wildlife. On Friday (23 November) the…
The two orcas sighted off Rockabill on Saturday afternoon
#MarineWildlife - Video posted on social media over the weekend of two killer whales spotted off the Co Dublin coast has gone viral. Trawlerman James Mac Cluskey used his phone to record a few seconds’ glimpse of the pair of…
A native white-clawed crayfish
All water users along the River Shannon are being urged to take precautions after confirmation of an outbreak of crayfishrayfish plague on a stretch of the Al River. This river is one of the main tributaries to the River Shannon…
Dublin Port is not only a hive of activity for shipping - it’s also part of the Dublin Bay biosphere reserve
#Biodiversity - The Irish Wildlife Trust and Dublin Port Company today (Thursday 25 October) launched the Together for Biodiversity Awards with the Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan. The awards are being run by the Irish Wildlife…
‘Operation Orca’ Set To Survey Scottish Killer Whales On Celtic Voyager
#MarineWildlife - The RV Celtic Voyager departed the Port of Cork yesterday (Wednesday 24 October) for ‘Operation Orca’, a 12-day survey of an offshore killer whale community associated with the Northeast Atlantic mackerel fishery. A team of marine scientists from…
Humpback whales are among the many species recorded by citizen scientists in the IWDG's datasets
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) datasets for cetacean sightings and strandings around the Irish coast are now back online after previous versions were corrupted in a cyber attack. The launch coincided with the hosting in Kilkenny…

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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