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Marine Wildlife
A Cuvier’s beaked whale surfacing in the Mediterranean in July 2016. The deep-ocean species is rarely spotted in the wild
#MarineWildlife - The Department of Foreign Affairs will assist with an investigation into the extraordinary numbers of Cuvier’s beaked whale deaths in Irish waters over recent weeks. Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has “instructed his department, in consultation…
Whale watching at Loop Head with the IWDG’s Dr Simon Berrow
#MarineWildlife - The Papal visit brought numbers down for 2018’s Whale Watch Ireland last Saturday (25 August). But some 950 wildlife enthusiasts still came out to 19 sites around the island of Ireland for the chance to spot some of…
Photos of some of the 16 strandings sent to the IWDG by members of the public
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has expressed concern in the wake of at least 16 Cuvier’s beaked whales washing up on the Irish coast this month. Following the discovery of five beaked whales in a single…
All-Ireland Whale Watch Day Is A Week Away
#MarineWildlife - Ireland’s annual whale watch day takes place next Saturday 25 August — and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group invites the public to join its land-based whale watches around the island of Ireland. From 2pm to 5pm next…
The discovery of five beaked whales in a single day has been described as 'highly unusual'
#MarineWildlife - Five dead whales have been found along Ireland's west coast and as BBC News reports, they may have been caused by naval sonar, an expert has said. Dr Simon Berrow, of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG),…
"Small Wonders" by Internationally published artist Karen Ingham who is to hold an exhibition 'Deluge' later this month in Milford Haven, south Wales. Deluge will depict the impact human activities are having on the planet’s ecosystem.
#MarineWildlife - Internationally published artist Karen Ingham will be holding an exhibition at Milford Waterfront, south Wales later this month depicting the impact human activities are having on the planet’s ecosystem. The exhibition ‘Deluge’ to be staged between 14th- 28th…
Scientists discover rare 'sponge reef' some 300 miles in Ireland's territorial waters in addition to new corals
#MarineWildlife - Marine scientists have found new discoveries after returning to Galway Port, having spent three weeks at sea investigating Ireland's deep ocean territory 300 miles off the west coast. The deep sea expedition involved the Marine Institute's remotely operated…
The Celtic Mist spent four weeks surveying Iceland’s coast
#CelticMist - The Celtic Mist’s historic marine wildlife survey voyage to Iceland is complete, with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) recording nearly 100 sightings over the course of the month. The research yacht set sail with a crew of…
Dead crayfish in the River Suir last year
#Crayfish - The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is investigating the widespread deaths of white-clawed crayfish in Lough Owel that may be linked to an outbreak of crayfish plague. As TheJournal.ie reports, the Co Westmeath inland waterway is home…
Little Skellig hosts Ireland’s largest colony of northern gannets
#MarineWildlife - Concerns have been raised over the levels of plastic pollution at an important gannet colony on the smallest of the Skellig Islands. As The Irish Times reports, discarded plastic waste – including parts of old fishing gear in…
Galway Bay is among those areas that conversationists want designated under the motion being put to the Seanad
#MarineWildlife - The Seanad today (Wednesday 23 May) is expected to hear a motion calling for the declaration of coastal areas around Ireland has ‘marine protected areas’ or MPAs. According to The Irish Times, the motion is being tabled by…
Have A Whale Of A Time This National Biodiversity Week
#Biodiversity - Whale watches at Cloghna Head and Loop Head cap off a packed lineup of events for National Biodiversity Week, which began this past weekend. The nine-day initiative aims to connect people with the natural world and communicate the…
Minkes are among the smallest baleen whales but can still measure 8-9 metres in length
#MarineWildlife - Galley Head was the place to see Ireland’s biggest recorded gathering of minke whales in recent weeks, as TheJournal.ie reports. Cork Whale Watch skipper Colin Barnes estimated more than 50 minke whales feeding off the coast of West…
Celtic Mist will be open for tours this Sunday 20 May at Dublin's Grand Cana; Dock
#CelticMist - Join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group at Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock this Sunday 20 May to celebrate before its research vessel Celtic Mist embarks on a historic marine wildlifearine wildlife expedition to Iceland. As Coast Monkey reports,…
Dolphins playing inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour. It does the heart good
The National Yacht Club's Mal Nowlan couldn't believe his eyes on Saturday afternoon when a pod of dolphins came into the harbour to play around his boat. 'I was calibrating my RIB’s compass when DBSC’s Committee Boat 'Freebird' came into the harbour…
Preventing Plastic Pollution on Waterways: Infographic
You don’t have to look far to see a scary story involving plastic, whether that story involves a whale washing up to shore as a result of ingesting too much plastic or a video that shows a turtle having a…

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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