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Marine Wildlife
A native white-clawed crayfish
#Crayfish - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it welcomes new legislation to strengthen existing measures to protect the native white-clawed crayfish. The European Union (Invasive Alien Species) (Freshwater Crayfish) Regulations 2018 will provide Irish authorities with powers to prevent the…
Last year’s National Ploughing Championships were also held in Screggan, near Tullamore
#Angling - Novice anglers are invited to try their hand at fishing at the upcoming National Ploughing Championships. Inland Fisheries Ireland will attend the three days that kick off in Screggan near Tullamore, Co Offaly from tomorrow, Tuesday 18 September,…
Get Involved!... in this year's Clean Coast's Big Beach Clean and make positive action through volunteering tomorrow or over this weekend of 15-16th September.
#MarineWildlife - Clean Coasts 'Big Beach Clean' returns to Ireland in 2018 beginning tomorrow, with the volunteer effort continuing throughout this weekend of 15th-16th September. So join in and take positive action by raising awareness of the massive damage caused…
A huge plastic-collection system was towed last weekend under the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francicso Bay and out into the Pacific Ocean. Afloat has identified the towing vessel as the Maersk Launcher.
#MarineScience - A Dutch teenager writes BBC News, who went swimming in the sea in Greece seven years ago, was shocked to see more plastic than fish. In fact, Boyan Slat was so appalled by the pollution that he soon…
A Cuvier’s beaked whale surfacing in the Mediterranean in July 2016. The deep-ocean species is rarely spotted in the wild
#MarineWildlife - The Department of Foreign Affairs will assist with an investigation into the extraordinary numbers of Cuvier’s beaked whale deaths in Irish waters over recent weeks. Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has “instructed his department, in consultation…
Hook Head Angler In Close Encounter With Shark
#Angling - Hours after a Belfast angler had a close call with a blue shark on an angling trip off Cork, a Wexford angler got more than he expected at the end of his line last weekend. As Independent.ie reports,…
Common limpets found across the Irish Sea in Pembrokeshire, Wales
#MarineScience - Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have identified ‘super healing’ capabilities in limpets, as Trinity News reports. The small molluscs, which can be found in coastal areas all around the world, were studied for a paper in the Journal…
Whale watching at Loop Head with the IWDG’s Dr Simon Berrow
#MarineWildlife - The Papal visit brought numbers down for 2018’s Whale Watch Ireland last Saturday (25 August). But some 950 wildlife enthusiasts still came out to 19 sites around the island of Ireland for the chance to spot some of…
More Than 150 Lion’s Mane Jellyfish Recorded Along West Coast This Summer
#Jellyfish - A whopping 157 lion’s mane jellyfish were recorded along the West Coast this summer, according to figures from the National Biodiversity Data Centre. And as Galway Bay FM reports, more than a third of these sightings (61) were…
Pike In Irish Waters Have Changed Their Diet, New Research Indicates
#Angling - Pike in Irish waters may have changed their diet preferences, according to a new report launched this week by Inland Fisheries Ireland. The report looks at new research carried out in 2016 on Lough Conn in Co Mayo…
Photos of some of the 16 strandings sent to the IWDG by members of the public
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has expressed concern in the wake of at least 16 Cuvier’s beaked whales washing up on the Irish coast this month. Following the discovery of five beaked whales in a single…
At least 28 swallows settled on the forward rail of Scruples II. See Video below
Portrunny on the northwest shore of Lough Ree is a secluded and very peaceful place renowned for its bird life. But even so, the crew of the good ship Scruples II berthed there recently reckoned they might have reached a…
All-Ireland Whale Watch Day Is A Week Away
#MarineWildlife - Ireland’s annual whale watch day takes place next Saturday 25 August — and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group invites the public to join its land-based whale watches around the island of Ireland. From 2pm to 5pm next…
Doolin ‘is in pristine condition’, says local Eugene Garrihy, despite a new report claiming otherwise.
#CoastalNotes - Eugene Garrihy a Clare businessman writes The Irish Examiner has criticised the results of a new survey that has labelled Doolin a “litter blackspot." Mr Garrihy, father of Dancing with the Stars celeb and Fair City actor Aoibheann…
Dutch Divers Are Galway Bound To Remove ‘Ghost’ Lobster Pots From Sea Bed
#StoneAndPots - Dutch divers are bringing their campaign against ‘ghost fishing’ to Galway Bay next month, as the Irish Examiner reports. Previously covered on Afloat.ie earlier this year, the Ghost Fishing Foundation co-ordinates cleanups of lost or abandoned fishing gear…
The discovery of five beaked whales in a single day has been described as 'highly unusual'
#MarineWildlife - Five dead whales have been found along Ireland's west coast and as BBC News reports, they may have been caused by naval sonar, an expert has said. Dr Simon Berrow, of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG),…

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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