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Marine Wildlife
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…
One of the beaked whales spotted breaching by the scientist crew on the RV Celtic Voyager earlier this month
#MarineWildlife - A team of scientists on board the RV Celtic Voyager got more than they bargained for during a recent survey to understand the habitat use of elusive beaked whales. That’s when they encountered four separate groups of breaching…
Staff at Wicklow town’s The Fishman use an umbrella to coax Sammy back into the river in February 2016
#MarineWildlife - Twitter user Derek Byrne was bemused by the sight of a large seal being chased from the door of a fishmonger’s as he drove through Wicklow town on Wednesday afternoon. But for the townsfolk, Sammy the Seal has…
Mum and Dad Short Tail Nurse Sharks wait for their babies to hatch at the National Sea Life Centre Bray.  It has taken four years for the male and female to breed.  The eggs from the rare sharks, now facing a dramatic decline in the wild,  can now be seen growing in their tank at Sea Life Bray and the pups are expected to hatch towards the end of the year.
It’s the Year of the Shark at Ireland’s Sea Life Centre where two Short Tail Nurse Sharks have bred for the first time. The eggs from the rare sharks, now facing a dramatic decline in the wild, can now be…
The fin whale carcass was discovered washed up on Arranmore over the weekend
#MarineWildlife - Residents on Arranmore off the Donegal coast were surprised to find a rare whale carcass washed up on their island over the weekend. According to BBC News, the 20-metre cetacean is believed to be a fin whale, an…
Sightings of Portuguese men o’war, like this one beached in the Bahamas, have spiked in recent days
#Ophelia - Storm Ophelia may have brought on a repeat of last year’s infestation of Portuguese men o’war, an Irish zoologist has warned. As The Irish Times reports, Dr Tom Doyle of NUI Galway is appealing for caution along Ireland’s…
Sailing instructor Kerri-Ann Boylan filmed this Shark in Skerries Harbour while teaching sailing. See video below
Sailing instructor Kerri-Ann Boylan was out coaching kids in Optimist sailing dinghies at the weekend when she spotted a fin in the water in Skerries Harbour in North County Dublin. 'As I brought the kids into land and about to…
Jellyfish To Blame For Major Salmon Farm Fish Kill
#Jellyfish - Four-fifths of the farmed salmon stock at Killary Harbour has been lost to fatal jellyfish stings over the last few weeks, according to The Irish Times. The Marine Institute has confirmed that naturally occurring swarms of the tiny…
Minke whales, like this one, have stranded on every coastline in Ireland, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
#MarineWildlife - A retired coastguard volunteer has spoken of the “amazing” experience of helping a stranded whale to safety in Northern Ireland on Tuesday (3 October). As BBC News reports, commercial diver John Lowry diverted from his commute home to…
Sally is heading for warmer waters in October
'After almost five months of giving her tender loving care, the latest sea turtle rescued in Kerry is to head for Warmer Spanish waters'. Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium, writes Tom MacSweeney, says that the turtle, brought to the Aquarium “for some much-needed…
Dead crayfish in the River Suir
#Crayfish - Large numbers of dead freshwater crayfish have been reported in the River Barrow in the stretch from Carlow to Graiguemanagh. It has been confirmed using DNA analysis that the cause of death was crayfish plague. This is the…
The rise in common dolphin strandings since 2011 is alarming wildlife enthusiasts
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has expressed its dismay at another record year for cetacean standings around the Irish coast. The first eight months of 2017 alone have seen 201 recorded strandings - up 30% compared…
Harbour porpoise like this one in Denmark have been protected by a Special Area of Conservation across Dublin Bay since 2013
#MarineWildlife - This weekend Dublin Port is deploying data buoys in Dublin Bay to monitor marine wildlife activity during the controversial dredging works at Alexandra Basin. According to The Irish Times, the four boys will provide live data on any…
Rare Sight Of Large Minke Whale Pod In Irish Sea ‘Feeding Frenzy’
#MarineWildlife - An “extremely rare” pod of minke whales has been sighted in the Irish Sea off the Isle of Man this week. According to BBC News, the pod comprising as many as 20 minke whales was engaged in a…
On the left is Dublin Port's Alexandra Basin (under redevelopment to cater for larger and deeper draft cargoships). On the right is the adjacent Alexandra Basin East. It’s estimated there are around 300 porpoises in Dublin Bay.
#marinewildlife - Concerns have been voiced by campaigners about the safety of the Dublin Bay porpoise as Dublin Port commences dredging. The Journai.ie writes that the Dublin Port Company (DPC) plan to remove up to a million tonnes of material…
Clean Coasts: Big Beach Clean returns this year next weekend (15, 16 & 17 September) So get involved to remove "marine litter" from our seas and beaches (above Whiterock, Co. Dublin) and make a positive difference for marine wildlife.
#BigBeachClean - Clean Coasts Big Beach Clean returns this year when the event takes place next weekend (15-17 September). So there's still time to register your pariticpation to make a positive difference in helping the environment. Clean Coasts engages communities…

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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