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Displaying items by tag: Sowerby's beaked whale

A Sowerby’s beaked whale — of a marine wildlife species rarely sighted in Irish waters — has died after getting into distress in Wicklow Harbour, as The Irish Times reports.

According to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), the male whale stranded near Wicklow Sailing Club after losing its bearings yesterday morning, Saturday 4 July.

Sowerby’s beaked whales are one of four out of 22 beaked whale species known to be in Irish waters. They normally inhabit deep waters below 200 metres in the North Atlantic, and are rarely seen by humans.

“From the outset it appeared to be in poor health, appearing disorientated and having difficulty moving. Therefore, it would not have been a candidate for refloating,” the IWDG said in a statement on Facebook.

“Euthanasia is also extremely difficult in these circumstances due to the large size of the animal as well as public safety concerns.”

The whale will be recovered for a full post-mortem to try and “to find out more about the life of these rare and enigmatic whales”, said IWDG chief executive Dr Simon Berrow.

Ten months ago a Sowerby’s beaked whale stranded on a beach near Helvick Head in Co Waterford. While it was refloated twice by local lifeboat volunteers, it was thought unlikely to survive.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Concerns remain for the health of a rare beaked whale refloated from a Co Waterford beach at the weekend, as The Irish Times reports.

The Sowerby’s beaked whale stranded near Helvick Head on Friday (30 August) and was twice returned to the open sea by the local RNLI lifeboat crew.

The incident marks the fourth stranding this year around the coast — and the only live stranding — of a deep water marine wildlife species that’s historically been rare in Irish inshore waters, with only 25 confirmed since records began.

Its fate is currently unknown, but Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) strandings officer Mick O’Connell suggests the situation doesn’t look good.

“Sowerbys usually live in much deeper water 300kms off the west coast — that makes me think it’s unlikely it will survive — it may be sick, but it’s got as good a chance to survive as it could because everything was done locally to get it back out to sea,” he said.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

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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