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Marine Wildlife
All-Ireland Whale Watch Day Is A Week Away
#MarineWildlife - Ireland’s annual whale watch day takes place next Saturday 25 August — and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group invites the public to join its land-based whale watches around the island of Ireland. From 2pm to 5pm next…
Doolin ‘is in pristine condition’, says local Eugene Garrihy, despite a new report claiming otherwise.
#CoastalNotes - Eugene Garrihy a Clare businessman writes The Irish Examiner has criticised the results of a new survey that has labelled Doolin a “litter blackspot." Mr Garrihy, father of Dancing with the Stars celeb and Fair City actor Aoibheann…
Dutch Divers Are Galway Bound To Remove ‘Ghost’ Lobster Pots From Sea Bed
#StoneAndPots - Dutch divers are bringing their campaign against ‘ghost fishing’ to Galway Bay next month, as the Irish Examiner reports. Previously covered on Afloat.ie earlier this year, the Ghost Fishing Foundation co-ordinates cleanups of lost or abandoned fishing gear…
The discovery of five beaked whales in a single day has been described as 'highly unusual'
#MarineWildlife - Five dead whales have been found along Ireland's west coast and as BBC News reports, they may have been caused by naval sonar, an expert has said. Dr Simon Berrow, of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG),…
"Small Wonders" by Internationally published artist Karen Ingham who is to hold an exhibition 'Deluge' later this month in Milford Haven, south Wales. Deluge will depict the impact human activities are having on the planet’s ecosystem.
#MarineWildlife - Internationally published artist Karen Ingham will be holding an exhibition at Milford Waterfront, south Wales later this month depicting the impact human activities are having on the planet’s ecosystem. The exhibition ‘Deluge’ to be staged between 14th- 28th…
This whale tale sighting was no fluke for the Nationwide team that went to sea with Cork Whale Watch this past May
#OnTV - Be sure to tune in to RTÉ One’s Nationwide tomorrow evening (Monday 30 July) for a special feature on whale watching and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) conservation and research work. RTÉ filmed with IWDG sightings…
Rockabill Island off the Dublin Coast
“One good Tern deserves another,” I was told in a discussion during the past week about the increasing importance of Dublin Bay in marine conservation terms – around the same time as Dublin Port announced that it was not going…
Scientists discover rare 'sponge reef' some 300 miles in Ireland's territorial waters in addition to new corals
#MarineWildlife - Marine scientists have found new discoveries after returning to Galway Port, having spent three weeks at sea investigating Ireland's deep ocean territory 300 miles off the west coast. The deep sea expedition involved the Marine Institute's remotely operated…
The Celtic Mist spent four weeks surveying Iceland’s coast
#CelticMist - The Celtic Mist’s historic marine wildlife survey voyage to Iceland is complete, with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) recording nearly 100 sightings over the course of the month. The research yacht set sail with a crew of…
Teen Stung By Lion’s Mane Jellyfish Off Louth Beach
#Jellyfish - Ireland’s recent invasion of lion’s mane jellyfish has extended from Galway Bay to the East Coast, where a teenager was hospitalised after a nasty sting in recent days. Herald.ie reports that 14-year-old Jack Dunne was stung over most…
Lion’s Mane Jellyfish In Irish Waters Are Larger Than Usual
#Jellyfish - Lion’s mane jellyfish in Irish waters this summer are much larger than usual. That’s according to zoologist Dr Tom Doyle, who spoke to The Irish Times after a recent spate of incidents that saw swimmers hospitalised by stings…
Dead crayfish in the River Suir last year
#Crayfish - The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is investigating the widespread deaths of white-clawed crayfish in Lough Owel that may be linked to an outbreak of crayfish plague. As TheJournal.ie reports, the Co Westmeath inland waterway is home…
A lion’s mane jellyfish in Newfoundland, Canada
#Jellyfish - Bathers have been put on alert in Galway Bay after a number of swimmers were hospitalised for stings by lion’s mane jellyfish. According to the Connacht Tribune, one woman was stung in the face on Saturday 9 June,…
Sponges found on the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone using the ROV Holland I during the recent TOSCA expedition
#MarineScience - A multinational team of ocean exploration experts returned to Galway on World Ocean Day (Friday 8 June) after spending the last few weeks exploring and mapping the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Using the robotic mini-sub…
Little Skellig hosts Ireland’s largest colony of northern gannets
#MarineWildlife - Concerns have been raised over the levels of plastic pollution at an important gannet colony on the smallest of the Skellig Islands. As The Irish Times reports, discarded plastic waste – including parts of old fishing gear in…
Galway Bay is among those areas that conversationists want designated under the motion being put to the Seanad
#MarineWildlife - The Seanad today (Wednesday 23 May) is expected to hear a motion calling for the declaration of coastal areas around Ireland has ‘marine protected areas’ or MPAs. According to The Irish Times, the motion is being tabled by…

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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