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Marine Wildlife
Interesting visitor at Howth Yacht Club marina
A month ago, Afloat.ie ran a story around the now-defunct but much-mourned Kilbarrack Sailing Club, and how an entire generation of young sailors in Dublin Bay learned their sailing in the Jack Holt-designed 11ft Heron Class dinghies. But then, so…
Aircraft used in a previous ObSERVE Aerial survey
An Irish-led international consortium will this month begin extensive aerial surveys of almost half a million square kilometres of Ireland’s maritime area. The ObSERVE Aerial 2 survey aims to help build a greater understanding of Ireland’s marine wildlife and the…
Migrations of Atlantic salmon were tagged in eight different geographic areas
A new study published this month by the scientific journal Nature reveals the marine migration route of Atlantic salmon in the North Atlantic, including Irish salmon. The study in Nature’s open-access Scientific Reports, led by the Arctic University of Norway,…
Minke whale sighted off West Cork
The remains of a whale washed up on a Co Wexford beach are likely to be those of a minke whale, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says. According to The Irish Times, the dead whale was discovered on…
Humpback whale off Cape Cod
A Cape Cod lobster diver said he feared for his life after getting caught in the mouth of a humpback whale, as the Associated Press reports. Fifty-six-year-old Michael Packard said he was some 14 metres below the service off Provincetown,…
“Puffin”
A wildlife charity has urged the public to take care when disposing of face masks after it’s alleged a puffin became entangled in a mask and died. According to The Irish Times, the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) said it was…
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D with Jim O’Toole, CEO BIM, at the pier in Greencastle, Co Donegal
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D today paid tribute to the men and women working in Ireland’s seafood sector for their continued efforts to reduce Ireland’s marine waste as part of the Clean Oceans Initiative. To…
The scientific community have given their full support to list the basking shark under the Wildlife Act
Ten to twenty per cent of the world's basking sharks are in Irish waters year-round. Because of this an international consortium of leading scientists and conservation organisations has today called on the Irish Government to provide legal protection for them.…
Irish coastal waters are “one of the few places globally” where basking sharks “regularly and predictably occur on the surface close to shore
A group of international scientists is marking world ocean day by calling for legal protection of the basking shark in Irish waters. Ireland has a global responsibility to protect the world’s second-largest shark and fish – known as Liabhán chor…
Simon Duggan’s remarkable image of #HBIRL21 breaching off Baltimore while whale-watchers on the MV Wave Chieftain look the other way
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says it has confirmed its first humpback whale match between Ireland’s waters and the Canary Islands. Images of a fluke and dorsal fin captured by Alex Brenner at Valle Gran Rey on La Gomera…
Designed by an Irish sailor, for sailors, the Kai bottle have been tried and tested on the waters of Dublin Bay and beyond
Kai Bottle found its roots in sailing. Designed by an Irish sailor, for sailors, the bottles have been tried and tested on the waters of Dublin Bay, offshore around Ireland and beyond. The rugged and insulated build along with the…
Cover of new GMIT Study on European marine microplastic polution.jpg
Most plastic and microplastic in the marine environment comes from the agriculture sector, shipping and the fishing industry, a report by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) researchers says. Plastic seed coatings; spreading of sludges from wastewater treatment plants and the…
Salmon from the River Boyne showing signs of red skin disease in 2019
Reports have emerged of wild salmon showing signs of red skin disease in three provinces, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). Low incidences of red skin disease (RSD) were first documented in 2019 in several European salmon stocks. In Ireland…
Marine wildlife sightings and strandings can be reported on the new “app” by scientists, researchers, boat operators, wildlife enthusiasts
A new marine mammal reporting “app” promises to “elevate” recording of whales, dolphins and porpoises in these waters. Sightings and strandings can be reported on the new “app” by scientists, researchers, boat operators, wildlife enthusiasts and whale watchers, the Irish…
Aerial image of basking sharks feeding off Kilkee in Co Clare
More than 2,000 people have already signed an online petition in support of legal protection for basking sharks in Irish waters. The appeal was started by Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group to encourage TDs to support…
Doug Allan with walrus 
Tuning in to the rhythms of the reef, singing happy birthday to belugas, how polar bears will smell you before they see you, why sharks get a bad press and how it’s more common for surfers than divers to get…

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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