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Marine Wildlife
A whale shark in the Egyptian Red Sea, a busy shipping area
The world’s largest fish may be under threat due to collisions with ships in the oceans, a new study has claimed. As reported by RTÉ News, researchers in the Global Shark Movement Project set out to identify reasons for a…
Grace O'Sullivan
The Irish Wildlife Trust has welcomed a European Parliament report calling for action on bottom trawling but has questioned why most MEPs did not support a ban on the fishing technique in marine protected areas (MPAs). A report by Portuguese…
The Marine Institute's Explorers team around the country are planning a Kraken Family Day on the beach for European Maritime Day on the 21st May
The Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme is delighted to announce that they will be hosting five 'Kraken beach events' for families on seashores around the country, celebrating as part of European Maritime Day, on Saturday 21st May at 12pm. The…
Natural oyster reef - Artificial oyster reefs along the US Gulf Coast are designed to protect and restore shoreline habitat and create living oyster reefs as a sustainable option for reducing erosion of coastal marshes and protecting communities from storm surge. A new study shows restoration of marshes and oyster reefs are among the most cost-effective solutions for reducing coastal flood risks
There are many reasons to love oysters, and now an NUI Galway scientist has suggested another one. Apart from its nutritional benefits, the shellfish also provides a cost-effective solution to the impacts of climate change. Natural reefs built from oysters…
Images of the albino humpback whale spotted off the Azores in recent days
Photos taken off the Azores in recent days show that a white humpback whale mother and calf may be among the marine wildlife species’ annual migration to the North Atlantic. And that means whale watchers in Ireland may have a…
Diving duck species have recorded the greatest decline across 97 lakes, rivers and coastal estuaries according to a new wetland survey. 15 waterbird species are “stable or increasing”, while 20 species are declining, Birdwatch Ireland reports. The Irish Wetland Bird…
Launching the National Biodiversity Conference 2022 (from left to right): Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Local Government, Oonagh Duggan, Head of Advocacy, Birdwatch Ireland and member of the National Biodiversity Forum Anne Murray, Biodiversity Officer Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, member of the National Biodiversity Forum Professor Tasman Crowe, School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin and Chair of the National Biodiversity Forum
Fishers, scientists and environmental activists have been urged to participate in the Government’s national biodiversity conference in Dublin in June. Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan said the event at Dublin Castle from June 8th to…
Wong Cheuk Yin Cayden, a student at St Columba’s College in Dublin, combined digital animation with live action, scripting and voiceover to create his video for the EPA’s “ The Story of Your Stuff” competition
The negative impact of paper tissues on water consumption and pollution is the theme of the winning entry in an annual Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contest for young people. Wong Cheuk Yin Cayden, a student at St Columba’s College in…
Diver video is recorded to monitor the seagrass condition around the entire circumference of new eco-friendly moorings on Strangford Lough
At the end of March, the Strangford and Lecale Partnership started a new pilot study of Advanced Mooring Systems in Strangford Lough. It is the first study of its kind in Northern Ireland, and these eco-friendly moorings will avoid or…
Historically, basking sharks were hunted along the West Coast of Ireland
The sighting of a big number of basking sharks off Hook Head is “an incredible start” to the 2022 basking shark season, according to the Irish Basking Shark Group. It is one of a number of sightings in the past…
File image of basking sharks feeding off Kilkee
More than 100 basking sharks were spotted in the waters off Hook Head in Co Wexford last week as their season for 2022 starts “with a bang”, as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group reports. A member of the public,…
Humpback whale #HBIRL55 sighted off Kerry in 2015
Ahead of its broadcast this weekend, Newstalk previews A Sea of Sound, a new radio documentary that explores the impact of noise pollution on marine wildlife. Marine mammals such as dolphins and whales effectively ‘see’ through sound in the water.…
Image from a previous major coral bleaching event in the Great Barrier Reef in 2016
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has suffered what’s being described as a “widespread” bleaching event, as reports. Images captured from the air by the authority in charge of the Unesco World Heritage site reveal damage ranging from “minor…
The common dolphin spotted in the Liffey at Poolbeg on Saturday 12 March
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has confirmed the sighting of a common dolphin in the River Liffey at the weekend. According to, the marine mammal was spotted swimming near the Poolbeg power plant on Saturday morning (12…
Ireland’s water environment is in crisis. Water quality is declining and water pollution is rising at an unprecedented rate says the Environmental Network SWAN
The Sustainable Water Network (SWAN) has hit out at the Government’s draft plan for managing Ireland’s inland and coastal waters. The network of 25 environmental organisations says the River Basin Management Plan is “completely lacking in the strong ambition, measures…
The UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) President brings down the gavel on the resolution
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has welcomed a decision by UN member states to develop a legally binding treaty on plastic pollution. “This is a key moment in the effort to eliminate plastic waste and pollution on a global scale,” MacArthur…

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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