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Dolphin Visitor Makes A Friend Off Aran Islands

25th September 2014
Dolphin Visitor Makes A Friend Off Aran Islands

#MarineWildlife - 'Bad boy' dolphin visitor Clet may have struck up a beautiful friendship with a fellow 'dolphina-non-grata', according to the Galway Advertiser.

After being spotted earlier this month in Kerry coastal waters, Clet – the French cetacean interloper first seen in West Cork – was thought to be headed towards Fungie's usual haunt around Dingle.

But in recent days he's been spotted off Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands, frolicking with another recent resident of that island.

Sandy is perhaps better known to Afloat.ie readers as Dusty, the Doolin dolphin that was the subject of much controversy last summer after a number of aggressive acts against swimmers, one of whom was hospitalised with serious injuries.

Over the summer it was recorded that she'd made a permanent move across Galway Bay to avoid blasting works in Doolin Harbour.

And now with Clet's arrival, it seems these two dolphins with bad reputations have made the perfect couple, with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group saying Clet has "hit it right off" with Sandy.

Still, the IWDG has reiterated its warning to swimmers and other water users to stay clear of the pair based on their track record.

In other cetacean news, the Irish Examiner reports on a rare sighting of killer whales off the south-west coast recently.

The seven-strong orca pod was spotted in the Atlantic near the Porcupine Seablight by researchers on the IWDG's Cetaceans of the Frontier Survey cruise on board the RV Celtic Explorer.

Joe.ie has images of the killer whales, which are common to North Atlantic waters but rarely trouble Irish shores; the last significant sighting here was a different orca family in Lough Swilly visiting from Scotland, and believed to be on the 'brink of extinction'.

Elsewhere, BBC News has footage of a large dolphin pod swimming close to the shore in Portrush on the North Coast, in what's described as a "very unusual" occurrence.

And here's a link to last night's RTE television programme on basking sharks.

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!

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