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Whale Watch Ireland 2013 - The Results Are In

30th August 2013
Whale Watch Ireland 2013 - The Results Are In

#WhaleWatch - More than half the sites hosting events for the recent All-Ireland Whale Watch Day saw at least one whale, dolphin or porpoise, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

Reporting its stats from Whale Watch Ireland 2013 on Sunday 18 August, the IWDG says harbour porpoise, common dolphins and a minke whale were among the sightings nationwide at 16 events attended by a total of almost 1,200 people - a 30% increase on last year.

The best place to be was Galley Head in West Cork, where newbie and veteran whale watchers alike saw the only minke whale of the day, not to mention the largest concentration of common dolphins.

Dolphins were also visible off Downpatrick Head in Mayo despite the poor weather. But it was harbour porpoise that were in plentiful supply in the Dublin area (off Howth Head and in Killiney Bay) and Portmuck in Co Antrim.

As previously reported on, All-Ireland Whale Watch Day coincided with Ireland's Heritage Week events for 2013.

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!