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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Marine Wildlife
File image of Strangford Lough in Co Down
Marine wildlife in Strangford Lough faces a “real risk” from an increase in recreational watersport, as The Irish News reports. Rangers from the National Trust in Northern Ireland recorded a record number of grey seal pups and a “stable” population…
The young harbour seal with a drinks can stuck to its lower jaw wast first spotted in Belfast earlier this month
A young harbour seal spotted in Belfast Lough earlier this month with an aluminium can stuck on its lower jaw has been rescued by police in Scotland. The Irish News reports that the juvenile marine mammal had swum across the…
File image of a curlew at Victoria Park in Belfast
Just 34 breeding pairs of curlew were confirmed in the fifth year of the Curlew Conservation Programme, according to figures in its 2021 report. And of that number — recorded across nine important breeding areas — only nine pairs were…
The research found that microplastics are affecting the behaviour of hermit crabs
New research at Queen’s University highlights the impact that microplastics are having on hermit crabs, which play an important role in balancing the marine ecosystem. The research found that microplastics are affecting the behaviour of hermit crabs, namely their ability…
Lagan Search and Rescue on the search for the distressed seal spotted with a drinks can stuck to its lower jaw
The search continues in Belfast Lough for a young harbour seal spotted with an aluminium can stuck on its lower jaw in recent days. According to BBC News, the seal was spotted on Wednesday (6 October) in a state of…
Fungie the dolphin pictured in Dingle Harbour in the summer of 2019
Dingle will host a special commemoration for Fungie the dolphin this month, as the Irish Independent reports. Fungie took up residence in the Co Kerry harbour in 1983 and over the decades since formed the backbone of the town’s tourism-based…
Flying squid (family Ommastrephidae) sitting on the deep-sea floor at the Fangorn bank (Ireland)
Lineages among oceanic squids which have been said to puzzle researchers for over a century have been resolved by scientists at NUI Galway (NUIG). A team at the NUIG Ryan Institute has been able to name the different family groups…
Likely track of #HBIRL43 from the South West of Ireland to Norway’s Svalbard archipelago
A humpback whale regularly spotted in Ireland’s South West has been traced to Norwegian waters in the first confirmed link between our two countries, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Researchers and citizen scientists in the Happywhale…
The new Marine Protected Area in the North-East Atlantic is home to up to five million seabirds across 21 different species, including five – such as the Atlantic Puffin – that are globally threatened
Ireland has joined an international agreement to establish a marine protected area (MPA) in the North Atlantic Current and Evlanov sea basin. The area is located in the high seas, to the west of the Ospar maritime area in the…
The remains of the shark found in the River Erne at Belturbet, Co Cavan in mid September
Inland Fisheries Ireland has expressed concern over a shark carcass that was found in the River Erne in Co Cavan earlier this month, as BBC News reports. The remains of what’s thought to be a small spurdog shark were found…
Irish Water logo
Irish Water has admitted multiple counts over a pollution event that threatened vulnerable freshwater pearl mussels in a Co Cork river, as The Irish Times reports. The water utility pleaded guilty to eight counts of breaching is licence terms in…
A Cuvier’s beaked whale surfacing in the Mediterranean in July 2016
The UK’s Royal Navy has admitted that it was conducting operations in an area linked to the mass stranding of deep-diving whales in Ireland and Scotland three years ago, according to a report in The Times. Record numbers of beaked whales stranded…
The wreckage of the plane crash-landed at the water's edge on the beach at Carnsore Point on Thursday evening.
University College Cork (UCC) says it is providing support to its staff who were passengers on the aircraft that was forced to make an emergency landing at Carne beach in Co Wexford on Thursday. The staff were conducting marine life…
Plastic pollution in our rivers - research has found single-use plastic bottles require UV light to break down over more than 450 years
Plastic pollution remains in river systems for much longer than previously thought, new research has found.  Microplastics may travel at less than 0.01km per hour, a University of Leicester study indicates. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a common material for single-use plastic…
Mullaghmore Sailing Club's Regatta dining area was covered by upcycled sails and the Bar made from recycled wooden pallets
Mullaghmore Sailing Club has been awarded Silver Certification by Sailors for the Sea for its participation in the Clean Regattas Programme through its annual regatta. This is the first year that Mullaghmore regatta participated in the programme, a certification system enabling…
Wally the Arctic walrus resting on a RIB in Ardmore, Co Waterford last month
Wally the Arctic walrus looks to be on his way back to home waters after he was spotted in Iceland at the weekend. Seal Rescue Ireland confirmed the sighting after examining photos with British Divers Marine Life Rescue, who had…

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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