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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Marine Wildlife
Successful Round Ireland non-stop voyager, Moonshine of Kinsale is a modified Hurley 22, built 1969
Skippered by Eoin Keyes with Leonie Conway as crew, the Hurley 22 Moonshine returned to Kinsale yesterday (Thursday) evening to complete a non-stop sail round Ireland. The voyage was undertake to raise awareness of the recent formation of the Irish…
Successful conservation policies for marine mammals, such as seals pictured above, has increased the potential for conflict with small scale fishing communities
New research led by the University of Oxford says that successful conservation policies for marine mammals have increased the potential for conflict with small scale fishing communities. The study published in the journal Conservation Letters says that management has to…
#HBIRL113, a humpback whale new to Irish records, sighted off West Cork on Sunday 29 August
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says last Sunday 29 August will stand out as “particularly memorable” for sightings of humpback whales, with the marine wildlife giants spotted at four separate locations. At Slea Head in Co Kerry, Jimmy Flannery of…
Eoin Warner, presenter of TG4's new series, An Cuan
A year-long look at Dublin Bay’s ecosystem is the theme of a new television series on TG4 during the autumn. Presented by Eoin Warner, “An Cuan” focuses on the fact that Dublin is the only city of its type in…
Officials and volunteers at Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford at a meadow of seagrass Zostera marina from left: Austrian Ambassador HE Dr Thomas Nader has just seen his first Irish seagrass meadow. To his right: Tom Enright, Chief Executive Wexford CoCo, daughter Ashling and Cllr Lisa Mc Donald (in a wetsuit) to his left Conor McCabe PO Marine Planning DHLGH. In the background are Richard Simpson, Sinead Brennan RTE and Karin Dubsky
Environmental group Coastwatch has called on the Government to specify protection of seagrass beds in new maritime planning legislation. As The Times Ireland reports, seagrass or Zostera marina is the inshore equivalent of coral reefs or tropical rainforests in nurturing…
The ‘Fenit 3’ dolphins, identified as members of the Moray Firth population
A trio of dolphins who surrounded a swimmer rescued after hours at sea off the Kerry coast earlier this week have been identified as a group from Scottish waters more than 1,000km away. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the swimmer…
Malcolm Noonan
The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform has urged ‘walrus watchers’ along Ireland’s South Coast to “cop on” and observe Wally the walrus from a distance. The Arctic walrus was first spotted in Ireland off the coast of…
Wally the Arctic walrus resting on a pontoon in the Isles of Scilly in July 2021
Wally the Arctic walrus’ trail of destruction along the South Coast may be curbed by the provision of a ‘floating couch’ for the large marine mammal, as the Irish Examiner reports. Following his return to Irish shores earlier this month…
Taking Flight… twenty-one Norwegian-born White Tailed Eagle chicks were released into the wild at the four Munster sites - on the Shannon Estuary, Lough Derg, Waterford and in Killarney National Park (pictured). It is hoped they will bolster Ireland’s existing White-Tailed Eagle population. The chicks have been kept in purpose-built enclosures at the four locations while they grew, matured, and developed the feathers and muscles necessary for flight. They will continue to be carefully monitored and by NPWS staff leading the collaborative reintroduction programme, which began in 2007. The satellite tags will allow the project to monitor their progress and their integration into the existing Irish breeding population
Wildlife service staff released 21 white-tailed sea eagle chicks to the wild over the weekend at four sites in Munster, including Lough Derg and the Shannon estuary. Chicks were also released in Waterford and Killarney National Park as part of…
The orca or killer whale may look a bit like a friendly giant dolphin, but the evidence is that even the much-feared great white shark will give them a wide berth
Portuguese-based cruising enthusiast John Duggan of Cascais and originally Malahide has been monitoring the continuing situation with orca attacks on the rudders of cruising boats off the Iberian coast, and has posted this update today: "Anyone with a boat in…
Finn the dolphin greets experienced divers checking on his welfare in Carlingford Lough earlier this month
Photos that emerged last month of cuts on the back of Carlingford Lough’s resident dolphin have prompted an investigation, as Independent.ie reports. Finn the dolphin has become a popular sight off Carlingford and Greenore on Co Louth’s Cooley Peninsula since…
Mayo IWDG members used their new wheeled dolphin stretcher to move the larger cetaceans from the beach
A local community in eastern Co Mayo rallied to attempt to save as many as 13 common dolphins that live-stranded near Blacksod on Friday (13 August). As Mayo IWDG’s Facebook reports, the family group comprising 13 dolphins — mainly mothers…
Wally the walrus as spotted in Clonea
An Arctic walrus spotted far from home on the Kerry coast in March has returned to Ireland’s shores, this time in Waterford. After moving on to the Welsh coast in late March, the marine mammal affectionately nicknamed Wally was subsequently…
Peter Lawless’ 41ft yacht Waxwing in Kilrush ahead of his pending solo circumnavigation
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is backing Limerick sailor Peter Lawless’ pending solo, non-stop round-the-world voyage on his Rival 41 yacht Waxwing. While the charity has sponsored the yacht’s passive self-steering equipment, in return Peter — son of…
The blue whale sighted some 320km west of Slyne Head in late July
A recent rare sighting of a blue whale off the west of Ireland is the first in six years, it’s been reported. Last weekend the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) shared an image of what’s believed to be a…
A pair of dolphins swimming off Northern Ireland
Ballycastle Coastguard joined officials from Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in responding to reports of dolphins being potentially harassed by personal water craft and other leisure vessels. The teams launched on Sunday afternoon (25 July)…

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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