Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Marine Wildlife
Cetacean spotters at Clogher Head in Co Kerry for this year’s All-Ireland Whale Watch Day on Saturday 20 August
Despite lower attendance and a reduced sighting rate, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says it is “delighted” with the return of its All-Ireland Whale Watch Day last month. Held on Saturday 20 August during Heritage Week and for…
Quagga mussels discovered in Ireland as reported by scientists
A project involving nine local authorities to tackle the invasive Quagga mussel in the river Shannon is one of 128 initiatives approved for over €1.4 million in funding through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund (LBAF). A feasibility study of the…
A young osprey (also called a sea hawk), was tagged in the Scottish Borders took an unusual route south to Spain having hitched a ride on cargoships.
Information has emerged as to how a young osprey tagged in the Scottish Borders hitched a ride on two ships during his first attempt at migration. Conservationist Sacha Dench is part of a team tracking the bird to learn more…
Fair Seas Sand Art: A huge message in the sand in Co. Waterford calling for 30% of Ireland's seas to be protected by 2030 to give our species, habitats and coastal communities the opportunity to thrive. Sand Artist: Sean Corcoran, The Art Hand. Location: Kilmurrin Beach, Co. Waterford
A coalition of Ireland’s leading environmental non-governmental organisations and networks says progress is beginning to be made towards protecting some of the most vulnerable ecosystems within Irish waters. Fair Seas has welcomed a decision by the European Commission to close…
Volunteers helping clean the beaches
Clean Coasts received overwhelming support and commitment from volunteers and communities across Ireland for the Big Beach Clean weekend that took place between 16th and 18th September. This year, a record number of over 500 clean-ups were organised by volunteers…
Gannets in counties Cork, Kerry, Mayo, Dublin, Donegal, Louth and Waterford are victims of avian influenza (bird flu)
The Department of Marine has announced the introduction of regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 requiring flock keepers to apply particular bio-security measures for poultry and other captive birds as a precautionary measure against Highly Pathogenic Avian…
On the Waterford estuary, Dollar Bay surveyors used kayaks to get to inaccessible shores and could track how far the honeycomb reef extended along the shore
Coastwatch has appealed for volunteers to join its annual autumn shore survey, which runs from mid-September to mid-October. “This is now one of the longest standing citizen science projects in Ireland,” Coastwatch founder Karin Dubsky says. ” It’s a basic…
Basking sharks off Clare coast solved mystery
The West Coast of Ireland is the first place in the world where the annual reproductive behaviour of basking sharks has been seen. “It is astonishing that this wonder of the natural world has remained hidden for so long,” according…
Bird flu: Gannets on Pembrokeshire island die of virus
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the HSE Public Health Department is highlighting important safety information about Avian Influenza (Bird Flu). This advice follows confirmation of Avian Influenza A (H5N1) in wild sea birds at a number…
The Youth Advisory Team residential meeting took place on the DCU St Patrick's campus.  It was the first in-person meeting of the team who were working together with the researchers for DCU and UCC to plan the Children & Young People's Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, which will take place over two weekends in October
Young people with an interest in biodiversity loss in marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments have been invited to apply to join Ireland’s first national children and young people’s assembly dedicated to the issue. The new Children and Young People’s Assembly…
This year’s Carlingford Ambassadors get tuition in angling at Camlough Lake in Co Armagh
A group of 16 young people came together last month for a five-day programme exploring the natural resources of the Carlingford catchment. The Loughs Agency’s Carlingford Ambassador programme aims to connect young people to the waterways in their local area…
Some of the young Salmon Ambassadors who graduated as part of the Loughs Agency’s 2022 programme for schools in the Foyle and Carlingford river catchments
More than 200 new Salmon Ambassadors have graduated as part of the Loughs Agency’s 2022 programme for primary schools in the Foyle and Carlingford river catchments. The interactive, hands-on learning programme encouraged pupils to learn about their local river system…
The Government is urging marine users to participate in Public Consultation on New National Biodiversity Action Plan. The draft is downloadable below
Sailors, rowers, fishers, anglers and other marine users have been urged to participate in a public consultation for the fourth National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP). Submissions to the consultation at www.gov.ie/biodiversityplan should be lodged before November 9th, 2022. The consultation…
Galway Atlantaquaria's Garry Kendellen with BIAZA award winners Ultan McManus, Esmé McManus and Amelia Walker
Galway Atlantaquaria Ocean ambassadors and Clean Coasts volunteers have been recognised by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) for their “outstanding” work. The association’s new “Zoo and Aquarium Hero” award is conferred on a “select few…
The assessment of the Government’s performance in relation to its Climate Action Plan commitments (downloadable below) was commissioned by Friends of the Earth, which states it had no role in deciding the results.
Three experts have rated Government progress on climate and environment as a “C”, which is down from last year’s “C+” score. The water and marine category is rated as “poor”, and rated 4.5 out of 10 compared to 5.5 in…
A dugong photographed underwater
Marine wildlife researchers have declared the unique dugong to be functionally extinct in Chinese waters. BBC News reports on the study conducted by the Zoological Society of London and Chinese Academy of Science, which found that there have been no…

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!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating