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Marine Wildlife
The IWDG’s Celtic Mist heading into Fenit after surveying in Brandon and Tralee Bays
#MarineWildlife - Conservationists want Tralee Bay and Brandon Bay in North Kerry to be declared a protected marine wildlife zone for bottlenose dolphins. The call comes in the wake of new research by the Irish Whale Dolphin Group (IWDG) in…
Black guillemots near Rathlin Island now have their own protected zone, the first of its kind in the UK
#MarineWildlife - The RSPB has welcomed the announcement of new marine protected areas for Northern Ireland this week. “The formal designation of four new marine protected areas will help protect a range of vulnerable species and habitats - ranging from…
A stranded common dolphin caught in a fishing net
#Supertrawler - An MEP for Ireland South is calling on the European Commission to investigate an alleged connection between ‘supertrawler’ activity and a spike in dolphin standings earlier this year. As the West Cork Times reports, Fine Gael’s Deirdre Clune…
Bottlenose dolphins are a regular delight for wildlife spotters around Ireland's coast
#MarineWildlife - The first meeting of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) new local group for North Kerry takes place this Friday 9 December at the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre from 7.30pm to 9pm. All are welcome to the…
Grey seals like these, as well as common seals, are regularly found around the Irish and British coasts
#MarineWildlife - Is cannibalism among seals to blame for deaths of the marine mammals recorded on Ireland’s shores? That’s one reason suggested by researchers in the latest report from the Irish Seal Sanctuary’s seal death database, according to the Irish…
The large baleen whale spotted on Cross Beach at the weekend
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) received a report at the weekend of a large baleen whale struggling in the shallows at Cross Beach in north-west Co Mayo. The 12-metre marine mammal, thought to be a sei…
Humpback whales like this one off the US coast are regular visitors to Norway’s Arctic fjords
#MarineWildlife - A small Norwegian community in the Arctic Circle recently had a whale of a problem with their internet connection - literally. As New Scientist reports, a subsea internet cable in the Kaldfjorden north of Tromsø which should have…
Common seal pups like this one regularly strand on Irish beaches in winter but rarely with severe injuries
#MarineWildlife - The Wicklow People reports that a six-week-old common seal is being treated for suspected stab wounds after being found in “very shape” by people walking on Arklow’s South Beach yesterday morning (Friday 18 November). The incident is the…
Dr Peter Heffernan CEO, Doug Allan (centre) with Marine Institute CEO Dr Peter Heffernan (left) and chairman Dr John Killeen
#DougAllan - Multiple Emmy and BAFTA award-winning wildlife cameraman and photographer Doug Allan visited the Marine Institute on Wednesday (16 November) to share his remarkable insight and deep understanding of marine mammals. Having qualified as a marine biologist, Allan now…
Dolphins accompany Howth's Coastguard RIB
The Howth–based Coast Guard boat “Sean A Dunne” was joined by some unexpected visitors today in the form of a school of Bottlenose Dolphins. The Coast Guard crew of four from Howth station were on routine exercise in the Irish…
Cape Verde Humpback Whales Doc On TG4 This Weekend
#MarineWildlife - Irish-made documentary The Humpback Whales of Cape Verde will be broadcast this Saturday 29 October at 7.15pm on TG4. Narrated by Liam Ó Maonlaí and shot in Cape Verde, Ireland and Malta, the film follows Dr Simon Berrow…
Mystery Of Fin Whale Beaching On UK’s North Sea Coast
#MarineWildlife - Marine scientists have been puzzled by the recent beaching of a whale rarely seen off the east coast of England. According to the Guardian, the carcass of a 12m fin whale washed up at Holkham in Norfolk last…
Beachgoers Rescue Seal Pup From Co Down Strand
#MarineWildlife - Independent.ie has video of a seal pup being rescued by quick-thinking beachgoers in Co Down this week. Aaron McLoughlin realised he had no phone signal to call for assistance when he and his wife Gemma and her family…
Teacher Adrian Ormsby with pupils Mark Dunleavy and Fiona Whitehead from the senior class at Scoil Chroí Naofa in Bunninadden, Co Sligo and their Something Fishy Award
#SomethingFishy - Pupils at Scoil Chroí Naofa in Bunninadden, Sligo have been named the national winners of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Something Fishy competition for 2016 at an event in Sligo’s Clarion Hotel yesterday (Wednesday 12 October). The winning group of…
Read Today's Irish Sailing & Boating E–News from Afloat.ie
Read Afloat's e–news below with all the latest sailing and boating highlights featuring: Star(fish) attractions: Why village sea centre & All-Ireland trail are shining bright; Txt for Spinal Injuries’ RIB; & save date for Ilen baa-rty Sign up for a…
Wicklow Head lighthouse is one of 12 Great Lighthouse of Ireland to win a silver prize at the Responsible Tourism Awards
Maritime tourism operators featured at the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards announced at a ceremony yesterday in Dublin. In the best for Natural Heritage Tourism category, a silver award went to Sea Synergy Marine Awareness & Activity Centre (Co. Kerry). The marine interpretive…

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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