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Marine Wildlife
Clean Coasts’ Ocean Hero Awards Are Open for Nominations
2016 marks the 10th Anniversary of An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme’s ‘Ocean Hero Awards’. The awards, originally called the ‘Clean Coasts’ Merit Awards’, were conceived in 2006 to honour the invaluable contribution Ireland’s coastal communities have made towards conserving our…
A Portuguese man o’ war beached in the Bahamas
Irish Water Safety (IWS) is alerting the public to exercise caution on our south, west and northwest coastline over the next few days due to jellyfish arriving on our shores, as previously reported by Afloat.ie.  IWS says Ireland has experienced tropical…
A Portuguese man o’ war beached in the Bahamas
#MarineWildlife - Sightings of the deadly Portuguese man o’ war along the West Coast have prompted calls for caution among coastal users, especially surfers and other beachgoers. TheJournal.ie yesterday reported that as many as 15 of the toxic sea organisms…
Bull Island is an especially sensitive area, unique also as host to both species of Irish seals, hauling out, feeding and breeding within the boundaries of the Capital city
The Irish Seal sanctuary (ISS) is calling on the public to be vigilant and keep dogs away from seals on Bull Island. Bull Island and Dublin Bay is a biosphere reserve unique to the capital city and is home to both…
Pilot whales are regularly spotted off the Irish coast
#MarineWildlife - A young pilot whale was saved by a group of quick-thinking Wexford men after stranding on a beach at Kilmore Quay, as the New Ross Standard reports. When Neil Bates spotted the 3m whale at Ballyteige Burrow and…
A great white shark scavenging in South Africa
#Surfing - An Irishman has been praised for his heroism after saving his best friend from an attack by a great white shark in Australia just over a year ago. As Independent.ie reports, Shane de Roiste leapt into action when…
In July 2016, in separate cases, three dead dolphins were found on the south-west coast of Ireland in the space of one week, one with a rope around its tail
Seán Kelly MEP (Ireland South) is calling for regular on-board inspections of supertrawlers fishing off the Irish coast to ensure that they are fully compliant with the EU Common Fisheries Policy, following a reported rise in dolphin deaths. The Fine…
Ocean Warming Poses Threat To Marine Wildlife & Food Chain
#OceanWarming - Warming oceans are not only throwing marine ecosystems into disarray, but are also encouraging the spread of water-borne bacteria and viruses around the world, a new study warns. The Irish Examiner reports on new findings from the International…
DLRCoCo is monitoring the situation after the minke whale washed up on Killiney Beach today
#MarineWildlife - Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has warned the public to stay away from the carcass of a minke whale that has washed up on Killiney Beach. According to TheJournal.ie, the carcass of the 13m female minke whale was seen…
Green Acres at Doonaha on the Loop Head Peninsula
#MarineWildlife - Holidaymakers on the Loop Head Peninsula sprang into action to rescue two common dolphins stranded on a nearby beach, as the Irish Examiner reports. Visitors staying at Doonaha's Green Acres caravan park used buckets of water to keep…
Dr Ophelie Sagnol from the Broadhaven Bay Marine Mammal Monitoring Programme adding seaweed to one of the stranded dolphins to keep its skin cool
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has reiterated the need for localised stranding plans after the death of two common dolphins that stranded in Mayo's Blacksod Bay in late July. Aoife Foley of the IWDG writes that…
A white tailed sea eagle in Norway
#SeaEagle - West Cork was witnessed its first sea eagle fledging in more than 125 years, as The Irish Times reports. Local birdwatchers have been observing the young white tailed eagle since it left its nest on Garnish Island in…
One of the minke whale carcasses found off the Dingle Peninsula recently
#MarineWildlife - A number of dead minke whales found off the Dingle Peninsula in recent months have puzzled locals and experts alike, as TheJournal.ie reports. The carcasses of three juvenile minkes have been spotted in the region since April, comprising…
Common dolphins
#MarineWildlife - Three dead dolphins have washed up on Kerry's shores in recent days – and one Irish fishery expert believes so-called 'supertrawlers' in the area might be responsible. According to The Irish Times, former Sea Fisheries Protection Authority inspector…
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…

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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