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Marine Wildlife
Marine traffic pressures on Scotland's cetaceans to be studied using navigation safety technology
Electronic navigation safety technology is to be used to study the potential impacts of marine traffic on whale, dolphin and porpoise species off western Scotland in a new season of research expeditions launched by Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust this…
The IWDG's research vessel Celtic Mist will be cruising clockwise around Ireland from 7 May till late July
#MarineWildlife - Places are going fast for a special cruise on board the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's Celtic Mist to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ireland's whale and dolphin sanctuary. Celtic Mist will depart Fenit, Co Kerry next Saturday…
Ireland's Urban Marine Wildlife Revealed In New RTÉ TV Series
#WildCities - From the producers of Ireland's Wild River comes a new TV series for RTÉ One revealing the wildlife – marine and otherwise – that make their home in Ireland's biggest cities. Wild Cities premieres on Sunday 8 May…
Poison Ivy plays with a bucket at the Wexford seal sanctuary that nursed her back to health
#MarineWildlife - A seriously ill seal pup found on the streets of Galway last December is just weeks away from release back into the wild. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the tiny seal no more than three weeks old was…
A juvenile basking shark spotted off West Cork on 31 March 2016
#BaskingSharks - Conservationist Andrew Power was in the right place at the right time on Monday morning (11 April) when he witnessed a group of up to 20 basking sharks feeding off Kilkee, Co Clare. "You could see the inside…
Dopey Dick, also known as Comet, as seen in the waters off western Scotland
#DopeyDick - A killer whale who gained notoriety after swimming up the River Foyle in the late 1970s has been rediscovered enjoying his retirement off the west coast of Scotland, as the Derry Journal reports. It's more than 38 years…
Blue sharks feed on a humpback whale carcass, from the UTV series Britain's Whales
#MarineWildlife - Sharks have been filmed devouring a whale carcass at the ocean's surface in waters close to Britain and Ireland for the first time. The results of the documentary expedition were broadcast last Friday as part of the UTV…
Dolphin Watchers Appeal For Recent Sightings Of 'Bad Boy' Clet
#MarineWildlife - Dolphin watchers around the UK and Ireland are keen to hear from anyone who may have spotted 'bad boy' dolphin Clet in recent weeks, as the Plymouth Herald reports. Known as much for his distinctive dorsal fin and…
Dolphin near the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge east of the Causeway Coast
#MarineWildlife - Dolphin and porpoise monitoring off the North Coast got a boost this week thanks to a £15,000 NI government grant for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), as Causeway Coastal Community reports. “This is good news for…
New Waterside 'Apartments' For Special Belfast Lough Residents
#BelfastLough - Belfast Harbour has announced the completion of its latest waterside apartments - but you may have to look close to see them, as they were created for some very special residents. Indeed, as you can see from the…
Westport in County Mayo
County Mayo participants at this weekend's Earth Hour initiative will pledge to keep the oceans clean and plastic free especially in the coastal town of Westport. There’s more to Westport on the West coast of Ireland than tourism. There’s also…
Portmuck Harbour at Islandmagee
#MarineWildlife - Islandmagee locals are appealing to Northern Ireland's Environment Minister to add their waters to the list of recently proposed Marine Conservation Zones. As the Belfast Telegraph reports, the call comes over fears that a planned Gaelectric gas power…
A humpback whale photographed off Baltimore in West Cork
#MarineWildlife - Cork County Council has heard a proposal for a dedicated whale and dolphin trail along the county's coastline, as the Southern Star reports. The Old Head of Kinsale, Mizen Head, Galley Head and Baltimore have already been identified…
A stranded common dolphin caught in a fishing net
#MarineWildlife - Strandings of common dolphins for the first two months of the year are at their second highest since records began in 2002, says the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). A total of 28 confirmed standings were recorded…
Staff at Wicklow town's The Fishman use an umbrella to coax Sammy back into the river
#MarineWildlife - A hungry seal with a taste for only the finest seafood has been filmed up to his old tricks again in Wicklow town. Earlier this month UPI reported on the antics of Sammy the seal, who's grown notorious…
#MarineWildlife - There's some good news for marine wildlife in Clare and around the Irish coast as a recent study on the health of whales and dolphins in Europe's oceans identified Ireland's population as among the world's healthiest. As previously…

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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