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Concern for Carlingford’s Resident Dolphin Prompts Investigation After Photos Show Cuts on Its Back

15th August 2021
Finn the dolphin greets experienced divers checking on his welfare in Carlingford Lough earlier this month
Finn the dolphin greets experienced divers checking on his welfare in Carlingford Lough earlier this month Credit: Finn The Dolphin of Carlingford Lough/Facebook

Photos that emerged last month of cuts on the back of Carlingford Lough’s resident dolphin have prompted an investigation, as Independent.ie reports.

Finn the dolphin has become a popular sight off Carlingford and Greenore on Co Louth’s Cooley Peninsula since taking residence in the area more than a year ago.

But concerns for his welfare were raised last month after photos surfaced on the Facebook page for Carlingford Lough and The Cooley Peninsula showing what appeared to be a deep gash on his back below his dorsal fin.

While more recent images of the dolphin show that his wounds are healing, the general public have been urged to keep their distance from the animal.

A spokesperson for the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said: “We have not had a chance to fully investigate the reported injuries.

“However, we are aware, as is the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, An Garda Síochána and Louth County Council and an investigation is ongoing.”

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s Pádraig Whooley told Echo Live that curious dolphin-watchers should “stay out of the water and enjoy the spectacle from the shore”.

He added: “The more people engage with this animal, the more people turn him into a local pet [and] the more we are encouraging this aberrant behaviour. It is not natural for a…dolphin to seek out human company.”

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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