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Displaying items by tag: Irish Whale and Dolphin Group

Sonar activity by Royal Navy submarines may have caused the deaths of up to 35 pilot whales off the coast of Co Donegal at the weekend, an expert has claimed.

Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) said that naval activity in the area is one possible cause of the tragedy.

"Naval exercises use a low frequency active sonar which is known to affect whales very badly," he told the Belfast Telegraph. "Basically it affects their sonar and causes a gas embolism, like the ‘bends’."

The Telegraph reports that tests are still being carried out to determine if the whales that beached on Rutland Island, near the fishing village of Burtonport, are the same as a group monitored in Scotland's outer Hebrides the previous weekend.

The pilot whales had reportedly been swimming off Co Donegal for the past week before they were found dead.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story (with photos) HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has recorded two surprisingly large aggregations of minke whales off the southwest coast.

The group reports that regular observer Nick Massett counted a group of eight minke whales off Slea Head in Co Kerry, which is a high count for the area.

But fellow observer Parick Lyne trumped that number with his sighting of at least 16 minke whales at the entrance to Bantry Bay between Bere Island and Sheep Head.

The IWDG said it "can't recall such large numbers of mikle whales in a relatively small area".

The group speculates that an abundance of "whale food" in southwest coastal waters is attracting their attention.

Published in Marine Wildlife

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reports that a killer whale was found stranded in Tullaghan Bay, Co Mayo earlier this month.

A post morten was carried out on the carcass of the female killer whale by Conor Ryan and Alessandro Pierini of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. The good condition of the carcass also allowed the team an opportunity to examine its stomach contents, which did not include any foreign objects.

The killer whale, which was stranded on the beach at Doohoma, was found to be pregnant with a large near-term female calf which was oritented backwards in the birth sac, though there is no obvious connection to the cause of death.

According to the IWDG, it is only the 15th stranding of a killer whale in Ireland since records began, and the seventh in the last 40 years. A pectoral fin was removed for display at the Natural History Museum.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Following the discovery of a dead dolphin in Youghal last week, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has called on locals to be watchful for marine mammals in distress.

The common dolphin was found washed up on Clay Castle beach last Wednesday 29 September. The species is a frequent visitor to Youghal, and has even been seen upstream in the river Blackwater.

If anyone in the Youghal area comes across a dead or live stranded dolphin, they are urged to contact their area IWDG members Paradig Wholley (Tel: 023 8838761) or Janet Howley (Tel: 086 3977160) or visit www.iwdg.ie.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Renowned diver Monty Halls is set to present a public talk on his marine animal work filming whales, sharks and dolphins around the world tomorrow night (7 October).

Halls, who has been in Ireland since April making his latest documentary series for the BBC, has been assisting the Irish Whale and Dolphin group (IWDG) with its research on whales, dolphins and basking sharks in Irish waters.

The diver, filmmaker and former Royal Marine, who is also a popular motivational speaker and performance coach, will talk on his experiences filming and diving with marine mammals around the world, and will surely provide some great entertainment.

The talk, part of the Tales of the Whales Lecture Series organised by the IWDG and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), begins at 8pm on Thursday 7 October in Lecture Room 1000 at GMIT, Dublin Road, Galway. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Page 12 of 12

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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