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Marine Wildlife
Under the 'Northern Lights' of the Arctic Circle, Saga Pearl II which on this Valentine's Day afternoon is to depart Portsmouth, UK on a 15-night cruise including whale-watching off Norway. AFLOAT adds the small cruiseship of 18,581grt is currently at the same berth previously occupied by a heavy-lift crane barge as depicted in today's FerryNews piece: 'Investment of £1bn to boost UK ferry industry'
#CruiseLiners - On this Valentine’s Day the yacht-like cruiseship Saga Pearl II is due to depart Portsmouth International Port (PIP) at 17.00 this afternoon to see the Northern Lights in Norway. It won’t just be guests on board hoping to see…
The Shannon Dolphin Centre in Kilrush
#MarineScience - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s Shannon Dolphin Project is seeking research assistants from May-September 2018 based in Kilrush, Co Clare. Research assistants will be required to conduct monitoring surveys from dolphin-watching tour boats, spend a considerable amount…
A juvenile basking shark, a species vulnerable to commercial trawling and gill netting
#MarineWildlife - Basking sharks, stingrays and seaweeds are among nearly 50 species of marine flora and fauna faced with extinction in Ireland’s waters, according to a new report from the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT). Protecting Our Ocean Wealth outlines the…
From March 1, as part of new animal protection reforms, it will be illegal for restaurants to throw live lobsters into the pot in Switzerland
Switzerland has banned the practice of boiling lobsters alive. From March 1, as part of new animal protection reforms, it will be illegal for restaurants to throw live lobsters into the pot. Only an electric shock or the ‘mechanical destruction’…
The BBC One television crew members joined scientists undertaking the WESPAS (Western European Shelf Pelagic Acoustic) Survey in July 2017
For the first time, a BBC One television crew joined a Marine Institute scientific survey, in search of seabirds and marine mammals in the offshore waters around Ireland and Scotland. Their voyage on the marine research vessel RV Celtic Explorer,…
The 435 Million Year–Old Fossil Starfish
A 435 million year old fossil starfish has been discovered in the Maam Valley in Galway. It is described in the latest issue of The Irish Journal of Earth Sciences, published by the Royal Irish Academy, writes Tom MacSweeney. The…
Damaging Our Oceans: Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Instiute said the scale of plastic pollution in our oceans is alarming and our current human behaviours needs to change.
#MarineScience - The Marine Institute supports Ireland's commitment to introduce national legislation that will prohibit the sale and manufacture of certain products containing microbeads. Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute, was recently interviewed on RTE Morning Ireland (see…
Marine Institute Leads New Project In Predicting Shellfish Safety
#Shellfish - Predicting risk and impact of harmful algal bloom events that cause impact to the shellfish aquaculture sector (PRIMROSE) is a new €2.7-million marine science project led by the Marine Institute. The project is funded by the Interreg Atlantic…
Small but harmful: Microbeads are tiny plastic balls, found in soaps, shower gels and facial scrubs. The Marine Institute CEO said 8 million tonnes of plastic is annually dumped into the oceans and warned if the trend continues, by 2050 it is estimated there will be more weight of plastic population in the ocean, than the entire population of fish.
#MarineScience- The Marine Institute's CEO says the key risk with microbeads is the potential to get into the food chain, eventually getting into products eaten by humans. According to RTÉ where Dr Peter Heffernan was speaking on 'Morning Ireland', the CEO…
The rise in common dolphin strandings is alarming wildlife enthusiasts
For the past six years, the first few weeks of the year have seen an increase in the number of dolphins being washed up on the Irish coastline. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group is making a determined effort this…
Humpback whale off west Cork
#Lecture - The Friends of Glenua first 2018 lecture entilted ‘Whales & Dolphins in Ireland’ Current Knowledge & New Discoveries is to be presented by Dr. Simon Berrow, next Thursday 11 January.  As usual the lecture programme is held in the Poolbeg Yacht &…
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group receives €3,000 from the DAFM towards its cetacean conservation efforts
#MarineWildlife - Four marine wildlife organisations will share in €2.56 million in funding for animal welfare throughout the State, as announced yesterday by Marine Minister Michael Creed. Seal Rescue Ireland in Courtown, Co Wexford receives €12,000 for its efforts in…
The Government has given approval for a large-scale kelp harvesting project in Bantry Bay despite strong opposition from local residents. The above image is a scene across Bantry Bay to Caha Mountains from Goat's Pass.
#BantryBay - A final approval from the Government has been given for a contentious large-scale kelp harvesting project in Bantry Bay despite strong opposition from local residents. As the Green News.ie writes the license granted to Tralee-based biotechnology company BioAtlantis covers…
Training For Achill Islanders In Seal Rescue Protocol
#MarineWildlife - Islanders’ attempts to rescue a seal pup stranded on Achill in Co Mayo recently were sadly not successful. But the incident has galvanised a local group set up amid growing concerns over marine wildlife strandings, who will train…
Exploris in Portaferry is currently caring for a number of seal pups like this one
#MarineWildlife - Two common seals were released off the North Coast last week after being nursed back to health at the Exploris aquarium in Portaferry. According to The Irish News, the seals named Hans and Albert had been with the…
Kish Bank Oil Prospect: Green Party representatives Una Power and Sinead Mercier protesting in the Forty Foot, Sandycove on south Dublin Bay. Dalkey is another coastal suburb where Dublin Bay meets Killiney Bay.
#DublinBayOil - The Dublin Bay suburb of Sandycove writes Dublin Gazette could be affected by offshore oil drilling that would damage local “delicate habitats”, according to local Green Party reps. Una Power, Green Party Representative for Killiney-Shankill is calling on…

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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