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Head To The Coast For All Ireland Whale Watch Day This Sunday

19th August 2015
Head To The Coast For All Ireland Whale Watch Day This Sunday

#MarineWildlife - The arrival of minke whales and a host of other whale and dolphin species around Ireland's coast seems like a good omen for this year's All Ireland Whale Watch Day this Sunday 23 August, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

Members of the public are invited to join the IWDG on one of 20 land-based whale watches being held at headlands around the Irish coast between 2pm and 5pm.

The purpose of Whale Watch Day is to raise awareness of the 24 species of cetaceans (porpoises, dolphins and whales) that have been recorded in Irish waters, by giving the public an opportunity to observe some of these wonderful marine mammals in their natural environment.

This event also provides IWDG researchers with a unique snapshot of whale and dolphin activity around the entire Irish coast. By taking part in this event you are supporting whale and dolphin conservation in Ireland, says the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley.

This annual, all-island event, organised by the IWDG in association with Inis Cologne, is as ever free and open to all. All watches are land-based and led by experienced IWDG personnel who will show you how to observe and identify some of the more commonly observed cetacean species seen in Irish waters.

You should bring binoculars or a spotting scope and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions. There are no boat trips involved, and there are of course no guarantees that you will see whales or dolphins during your particular event.

For more on the day, held in tandem with Heritage Week, visit the IWDG website HERE.

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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