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Marine Wildlife
This dolphin was found on the beach at Fenit, Co Kerry this past Wednesday
#MarineWildlife - Not even two months in and 2017 is already the worst year on record for whale and dolphin strandings, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). As of Friday 17 February, a whopping 56 cetacean standings…
Fishing for Litter is a project aimed at reducing litter in the sea, by engaging the commercial fishing communities of Northern Ireland. The project began with Ardglass Harbour (above) and is been rolled out to include Warrenpoint this Spring.
#FishingForLitter - Fishing is one of the most tried and tested industries people have ever invented as we have been fishing for thousands of years. The way fish are caught has been transformed many times, but the core ideas remain.…
Slipper lobsters are usually found in much warmer climes
#MarineWildlife - The Galway Atlantaquaria is currently caring for an extremely rare slipper lobster found in Galway Bay off the Aran Islands in recent days. According to the Marine Institute, this is the first recorded landing of the warm ocean…
Horrific Damage to Marine Wildlife
There are photographs on marine animal welfare websites which show the awful horror and terrible suffering which balloon and lantern releases into the air have caused to marine wildlife. If you saw or see them, you would never again let…
Seal Rescue Centre Seeks Sponsors
#MarineWildlife - The Seal Rescue Centre in Courtown is appealing for new sponsors to fund supplies for the marine wildlife in its care, as the Gorey Guardian reports. The sanctuary recently took on its first sponsor in Gorey’s Amber Springs…
A juvenile basking shark in Irish waters
#MarineWildlife - A whopping 71 species of shark can be found swimming in Irish waters. That’s according to the new New Red List of Cartilaginous Fish, as reported by TheJournal.ie, which adds that half of all sharks in Europe can…
The location of the sunken vessel at the end of Cook Street Quay south of Portaferry
#StrangfordLough - Leaking fuel from a submerged boat in Strangford Lough has promoted environmental concerns, as BelfastLive reports. The three-masted vessel, which has been moored in Portaferry Harbour for some time, crashed into the quay, and sank on Friday (27 January).…
Bottlenose dolphins are a regular delight for wildlife spotters around Ireland's coast
#MarineWildlife - Ireland’s whales and dolphins feature in a new atlas of the country’s wildlife, as The Irish Times reports. The Atlas of Mammals in Ireland 2010-2015, published by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, maps the distribution of 77 mammal…
One of the dolphins that stranded in Dungarvan on Friday 13 January
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group reports on the stranding of three common dolphins in Dungarvan at the weekend. Two of the three dolphins were still alive when found on Friday (13 January), though they were in “poor…
Herring shoals attract seals and cetaceans to the South Coast in big numbers each winter
#PairTrawling - Winter season pair trawling has been blamed for a spate of marine wildlife deaths on the Waterford coast this week, as the Irish Examiner reports. Locals in Ardmore discovered four seals and a porpoise washed up on their…
One stranded dolphin is lifted to safety on board Tarbert Rowing Club’s inflatable
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reports the good news of the rescue of two live common dolphins that stranded on a Co Kerry beach at the weekend. IWDG volunteers found three dolphins at Tarbert on Sunday…
Puffins with their coloured bills and black-and-white coats – they almost looking particularly well-dressed for a formal evening out
Without a lot of public attention Birdwatch Ireland, the conservation organisation which protects Ireland's birds and their habitats, is engaged in an extensive survey of seabirds. Ireland is a very important country for seabirds which are, in my view, marvellous…
Save Our Seafront (SOS) the Dun Laoghaire Harbour group launches a High Court challenge to cruiseships plan
#CruiseBerth - The Save-Our-Seafront Dun Laoghaire group was yesterday granted leave by the High Court to challenge An Bord Pleanala’s decision to approve cruiseships docking in the local harbour. As The Irish Times reports, the group, which is an environmental…
Humpback whales like this one off the US coast are regular visitors to Irish waters
#MarineWildlife - Whale watchers off the Sunny South East believed they’ve photographed Ireland’s first humpback whale sighting of 2017, as TheJournal.ie reports. South Coast Charter Angling skipper Martin Colfer was out with photographer Myles Carroll yesterday (Wednesday 4 January) when…
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…

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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