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Marine Wildlife
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…
A rainbow on Belfast Lough as viewed from the Harbour's Window on Wildlife
As you make your passage west through Belfast Harbour to the Marina you probably don’t realise that on your port side near the cruise liner terminal is gem of a wildlife sanctuary just a hundred metres away writes Betty Armstrong.…
Philip Boucher Hayes presents Hot Air: Ireland’s Climate Crisis tonight on RTÉ One
Following last night’s stark warning for Irish coastal cities and towns, RTÉ’s On Climate season of TV programmes continues tonight (Tuesday 12 November) with a look at how climate change, pollution and overfishing have directly affected biodiversity around Ireland’s coasts.…
‘Mixed Picture’ Of Health In Seas Around Northern Ireland & UK
A new review of the state of the seas off Northern Ireland and the UK reveals a ‘mixed picture’ in terms of biodiversity, as BBC News reports. While the UK Government’s marine strategy assessment had good things to say about…
Image by friend of the IWDG, Jason, of the bottlenose dolphin refloated from Mutton Island in Galway Bay earlier this month
A bottlenose dolphin was recently rescued by quick-thinking locals after live stranding on Mutton Island near Galway city. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reports the story related to it by friend of the group Jason, who was alerted…
Microbeads - new Irish legislation restricting the use of plastic microbeads to protect marine wildlife is on the cards
The EU has permitted the Irish government to introduce legislation restricting use of plastic microbeads to protect marine wildlife and the environment writes Lorna Siggins. Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy confirmed the European Commission’s clearance last…
 A clip from ‘Ireland’s Deep Atlantic’ produced by Ken O'Sullivan was broadcast in 2018 by RTE and is now a part to the Junior Cert curriculum. His book Sea Fever is on sale now
Ken O’Sullivan spent the summers of his youth in what he describes as a ‘Huckleberry Finn-type existence’ on Fenit Island, Co Kerry, his father’s home place and that of his family since 1750. Getting the fishing bug at aged 10,…

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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