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Marine Wildlife
At the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) annual meeting held last year in Dublin, the phrase “everything is changing” summed up Ireland’s whale activity.
The skeleton of a Wexford blue whale (82ft long) named Hope has supplanted ‘Dippy’, the much loved Diplodocus, as the main attraction at Hintz Hall in the National History Museum in London, reports The Green News.ie “Look at the whale!”…
Darren Craig taking a mucus sample from a basking shark off West Kerry
Basking sharks which were sampled off the west Kerry coast in early Spring have proved to be genetically different to all other such sharks tested in the north-east Atlantic, according to a newly published study writes Lorna Siggins. The study…
Chimaeras, also known as rabbitfish, are closely related to sharks and skates
Experts in shark biology, data and mapping recently met at the Marine Institute’s headquarters in Oranmore, Co Galway to map the distribution of deepwater sharks, skates and chimaeras in the North-East Atlantic Ocean. Scientists and marine experts at the International…
The Triton submarine Limiting Factor has previously reached a depth some 11,000 metres — the only human-occupied submersible to do so
Marine scientists are preparing to head into the ‘Midnight Zone’ in one of the most ambitious underwater surveys yet, as the Irish Examiner reports. The team from the Nekton Mission will spend five weeks exploring the Indian Ocean with an…
Nimmo spotted in January 2019 with Mutton Island in the background
The traditional first day of spring in Ireland also saw the return of Nimmo, a bottlenose dolphin who’s become a regular visitor to Galway city. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says this is the sixth consecutive year for…
Great Blasket Island is home to thousands of seals in a Special Area of Conservation
The Irish Seal Sanctuary has said a seal cull is not the answer to the woes of Dingle Peninsula fishermen, who claim a booming population of the protected marine wildlife is putting their livelihood at risk. Sanctuary co-founder Brendan Price…
Bottlebrush was found outside the wall at Hook Lighthouse last Wednesday
Courtown’s sanctuary for rescued seals has something of a ‘local celebrity’ among its number, as the Irish Mirror reports. Bottlebrush — one of 10 young seals recovered during Storm Brendan that are currently in the care of Seal Rescue Ireland…
Cloudberry the Arctic ringed seal pup was found in Quilty, Co Kerry on Sunday
An Arctic ringed seal pup recovered from the Kerry coast ahead of Storm Brendan has delighted her carers by finding her appetite. Named Cloudberry, after an Arctic flower, the little marine mammal was first spotted on 2 January but scarpered…
The Seabird aka Citizen Sea
If you go down the ramp to the pontoons in Bangor Marina you couldn’t miss the impressive vessel sitting to your right. She’s the Seabird, Northern Ireland’s first sea-going boat-based environmental charity known as 'Citizen Sea', supported by Ards and…
Hooded seal spotted in Toormore Bay on New Year’s Day
A seal rarely sighted in Irish waters was among the first sightings of the New Year by eagle-eyed supporters of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). The hooded seal was spotted by Helen Tilson of Schull Sea Safari on…
Great Blasket Island is home to thousands of seals in a Special Area of Conservation
Depleted fish stocks and damage to nets in and around the Blaskets are “unsustainable”, argue local fishermen who have called for a cull of the area’s seal population, as the Irish Examiner reports. The inshore fishermen allege that colonies of…
A dead Killer Whale on the Waterford shoreline
Flame retardants, pesticides and other pollutants are among the toxic ingredients found in four killer whales stranded on the Irish coastline, according to a new study writes Lorna Siggins Blubber samples analysed by scientists from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT)…
Spirtle as sighted off Fenit this past summer
Miracle dolphin Spirtle has returned to her home waters in the north-east of Scotland after her summer spent off Ireland’s south-west coast, as BBC News reports. The bottlenose dolphin with a distinctive sunburn scar was spotted with her family group…
Seal pup Pine was found in Portally Cove on Wednesday
A seal pup found entangled in fishing netting in Co Waterford yesterday (Wednesday 27 November) is now recovering, as Waterford Live reports. Nicknamed Pine, the young seal is now in the care of Seal Rescue Ireland in Courtown, Co Wexford…
Ariel and Merida at Exploris Aquarium before their release back into the wild at the weekend
Two juvenile seals named Ariel and Merida after the Disney princesses are part of a novel marine research project using the latest technology to record and understand harbour seals’ behaviour. In a first for Northern Ireland, the Exploris Aquarium in…
A feeding basking shark showing the characteristic white gape
An endangered basking shark showed up off North America three years after it was tagged in Ireland, according to new research published by Irish and Canadian scientists. A female basking shark which was fitted with a satellite transmitter at Malin…

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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