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Whale Watch Day This Sunday Makes Heritage Week List

15th August 2013
Whale Watch Day This Sunday Makes Heritage Week List

#MarineWildlife - This Sunday's All-Ireland Whale Watch Day has made the list of The Irish Times' 40 things to do in Heritage Week 2013.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will be hosting free, guided and land-based whale watching events at 16 headlands around the Irish coast from 2pm to 5pm this Sunday 18 August.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the 24 cetacean species recorded in Irish waters by giving the general public the chance to see our whales and dolphins in their natural environment.

And as the group tells RTÉ News, the recent arrival of minke whales in great numbers spells "a good omen" for this Sunday's island-wide watch.

The IWDG has the full list of whale watch spots for this weekend HERE.

Whale Watch Ireland 2013 just one example of the wide range of activities taking place during Heritage Week from 17-25 August.

Other events on the water during the week include Victorian seaside celebrations in Kilkee, Co Clare on 21 August; a river walk along the Lee in Cork city centre on 24 August; lighthouse tours at Galley Head, Loop Head and Wicklow Head on 25 August; and the Galway Hooker festival, Cruinniú na mBád, this weekend 17-18 August.

Published in Marine Wildlife
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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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!