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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Marine Wildlife
A sunfish photographed off Inishglora, an island off Mayo, last year. Rising ocean temperatures have caused an enigmatic ocean giant to venture north into Irish waters and beyond, almost 50 years of observations off the Cork coast have helped confirm.
Ocean temperatures are rising which have caused an enigmatic ocean giant (sunfish) to venture north into Irish waters and beyond, almost 50 years of observations off the Cork coast have helped confirm. A study by a team of researchers from…
Dara McGee's - ' Coconuts with and without husks, along with Sea Heart (Entada gigas) Fanore, Co Clare, 20.07.2019
Marine biologist Declan Quigley has said it is “conceivable” that some of the 67 coconuts recorded in Irish waters over the past half-century could have drifted from tropical areas across the Atlantic. In a paper published on the recent discovery…
File image of a frog and frogspawn near Omagh, Co Tyrone
Parental care by amphibians moving between freshwater and land influences how many eggs they lay, new research by Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) has found. While most amphibians abandon their young when they lay their eggs, those involved in parental care…
A still from video footage of salmon spawning in the River Roe
As part of the Loughs Agency’s annual redd counting on the River Roe and its tributaries in Northern Ireland, underwater cameras were successfully deployed and have captured footage of salmon spawning activity. Mark McCauley, freshwater fisheries biologist with the agency,…
Humpback whales have been spotted 75 times off the coast of Britain since 2019
A new review of marine wildlife in British waters reveals that once-rarely seen humpback whales have rebounded in recent years. Marine Industry News reports on the 2021 Marine Review from The Wildlife Trusts which notes that humpback whale numbers are…
“Iontas na bhFarraigí Ceilteachta” is a three-part series presented by Eoin Warner which will be broadcast on TG4 from January 12th.
The courtship rituals of bottle-nosed dolphins, basking sharks congregating off the Irish coast and the sex-shifting cuckoo wrasse are documented in a new wildlife series on the Celtic coasts. “Iontas na bhFarraigí Ceilteachta” is a three-part series presented by Eoin…
A surfer off the North Coast near Portrush
Enthusiasts of surfing, sea kayaking and coasteering are being asked to contribute to a project collecting data about Northern Ireland’s marine wildlife. As the Coleraine Chronicle reports, National Museums NI’s Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR) hopes that the North…
A murmuration at Templeludigan, Co. Wexford
BirdWatch Ireland, the national charity protecting birds, has asked people who regularly visit coastal harbours and beaches and who take to the seas “ to help in tracking one of the most breathtaking sights in Nature.” This is the phenomenon…
A common dolphin reported live stranded in Mulranny, Co Mayo by Catherine Hanley
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has appealed for the public to keep a look-out after a spate of marine wildlife strandings reported in recent days. Half of the six reports were live strandings, the group says, but only…
File image of sprat at a market in Odessa, Ukraine
2020 was a record year for sprat landings — but this has come at the expense of many other marine wildlife species who depend on the small fish as a food source. Noteworthy’s investigation of the issue shows that in…
The next time you are out and about along the coast or near a waterway, take two minutes to pick up some litter you see
In a brand-new video, Clean Coasts is urging people to have a green New Year and choose a resolution they can commit to by pledging to do a #2minutebeachclean. The video shows Dave (played by Bryan Quinn) trying to go…
Annacotty Weir on the lower Mulkear River
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is “greatly encouraged” by the growing public support for addressing problems around the movement of fish at Annacotty Weir. More than 10,000 people have signed a petition to remove the weir on the River…
The 50kg adult female loggerhead turtle was discovered on Muighinis Beach near Carna in a comatose state
A loggerhead turtle believed to originate from the waters around the Canary Islands has died despite the best efforts of Galway Atlantaquaria staff after it was found washed ashore in Connemara. As RTÉ News reports, the 50kg turtle was discovered…
The Elatagh River in Co. Donegal
The CatchmentCare project is nearing completion with the Elatagh instream habitat improvement works along a 3.4km stretch on the Elatagh River, Co. Donegal, and the benefits are already evident. Sharon McMahon, Loughs Agency CEO said: "Loughs Agency is committed to…
The Hemlock Water-dropwort, also known as Dead Man's Fingers, is a flowering plant in the carrot family
Ards and North Down Council has warned the public that Hemlock Water Dropwort, also known as ‘Poisonous Parsnip’ has washed up on Groomsport beach where it was seen and reported by a member of the public. Groomsport is about two…
File image of the lower pond at Waterworks Park in North Belfast
A number of dead aquatic birds have been removed from a former reservoir in Belfast following an outbreak of avian flu in Northern Ireland, as Breaking News reports. Waterworks Park in North Belfast has been closed until further notice while…

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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