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Marine Wildlife
Whale watchers at Galley Head in West Cork
#WhaleWatchDay - The 2016 All Island Whale Watch Day takes place on Saturday 27 August as part of Heritage Week. All are invited to join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) at any of 20 land-based whale watches on…
A Common dolphin pod breaching off the west coast of Ireland. A public talk on Noise in the Ocean and its impact will be given tonight in Dublin
Over 300 scientists are meeting in Dublin this week discussing the effects of noise on aquatic life. A public talk on Noise and its impact in the Ocean will be given tonight (Tuesday 12th July) 8 – 9:30pm at the…
A Mediterranean gull much like this one has been spotted from Belfast's Window on Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - A seabird usually found in the eastern Mediterranean has not only taken up residence in Belfast – she's successfully hatched her first chick. The Belfast Telegraph reports on the Mediterranean gull that's been attracting bird watchers from all…
The route – a trip to the edge of Ireland to study Europe’s most remote and seldom studied offshore areas
A Life on the Edge survey voyage is an attempt to log the abundance of life on Irelands’ southern shelf edge in September. Irish Whale & Dolphin Gropup's Patrick Lyne is issuing an invitation to join this survey to assist…
Killer whale John Coe spotted off Slea Head in Co Kerry on Monday 27 June
#MarineWildlife - Whale watchers on Slea Head were treated to a special sight earlier this week with the surprise appearance of the killer whale known as John Coe, as the Irish Examiner reports. Landscape photographer Richard Creagh was among the…
Larne Lough in Co Antrim
#Larne - Coastal wildlife in Co Antrim is under threat after a significant diesel spill from a Caterpillar plant in Larne at the weekend, as the News Letter reports. The plant machinery firm faces likely enforcement action after 40,000 litres…
The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Centre is located on Tobermory’s picturesque harbour front
A new marine wildlife visitor centre has been launched in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull by conservation charity Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust – to strengthen conservation action for whales, dolphins, and porpoises, and to develop the Hebrides’ appeal…
The skeleton of the blue whale recovered from the Wexford coast in 1891 will be hung in the London Natural History Museum's atrium from 2017
#BlueWhale - The skeleton of a blue whale beached in Ireland that's to be the centrepiece of London's Natural History Museum has been held together by old newspapers for more than 80 years, it has emerged. Afloat.ie previously noted the…
Scroll down to see Alex Barry's encounter with Cork Harbour Basking Sharks
Cork RS dinghy sailors Alex Barry, Sandy Rimmington and Andrew Welland shot some great video swimming off Roches Point, Cork Harbour up close and personal with some massive basking sharks. The footage (below)  shows the plankton–only eating creatures feeding while…
A Whale breaches off the Kerry coast yesterday
Following our earlier photo from Baltimore Sea Safari of a Humpback Whale breaching in spectacular fashion off the West Cork coast, Kerry reader Brian O'Sullivan (of marine firm O'Sullivan's Marine) has sent Afloat.ie this latest image of further breaching off Fenit…
A breaching Humpback Whale is caught on camera off West Cork
Baltimore Sea Safari in West Cork have posted this photo of a Humpback Whale breaching off the West Cork coast. 
Fungie as he usually appears to visitors and locals alike in Dingle
#Fungie - Dingle's resident dolphin Fungie has sustained a significant wound below his dorsal fin, as the Irish Examiner reports. The deep cut, likely inflicted by a visiting boat's propeller, was noticed yesterday (Friday 3 June) by fans of the…
The bowhead whale sighted at the mouth of Carlingford Lough on Sunday 29 May
#BowheadWhale - The search continues in tracking down the elusive bowhead whale that's excited marine wildlife experts since it was sighted in Carlingford Lough at the weekend. One of a species never before recorded in Irish waters in the 25…
Poison Ivy at the Seal Rescue Ireland sanctuary in Courtown
#MarineWildlife - Months after she was found on the streets of Galway, the seal pup named Poison Ivy has returned to the sea at Galway Bay with a group of fellow rescued seals. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Ivy was…
Una the loggerhead was one of two turtles released from the LÉ Róisín en route to the Mediterranean this week
#Turtles - Two rescued loggerhead turtles have been returned to the ocean by the crew of LÉ Róisín as the Naval Service vessel makes its way to the Mediterranean on deployment. According to RTÉ News, the Naval Service were only…
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…

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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