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Marine Wildlife
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…
Dead crayfish in the River Suir
#Crayfish - All water users are being urged to take precautions to stop the spread of crayfish plague after confirmation of an outbreak on the Lorrha River in North Tipperary, close to Lough Derg and the River Shannon. Numbers of…
Whale watchers at Galley Head in West Cork
#MarineWildlife - 2017’s All–Ireland Whale Watch Day is scheduled for Saturday 26 August between 2pm and 5pm as part of Heritage Week. Join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) at any of 20 land-based whale watches across Ireland to…
The bearded seal has allegedly taken up residence at the Timoleague estuary for the last two months
#MarineWildlife - Wildlife watchers have been baffled by the sighting of an Arctic seal in West Cork, as the Irish Examiner reports. Bearded seals, marked by their pale pelt and distinctive long whiskers, are usually found between the far north…
The blue whale is the largest animal known to have ever existed on earth
#MarineWildlife - The skeleton of a blue whale beached on the Wexford coast in the late 19th century has now taken pride of place at London’s Natural History Museum. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the museum paid the equivalent of…
A giant squid preserved in ice at Melbourne Aquarium in Australia
#MarineWildlife - Once was exciting enough — but a Kerry trawler had landed a second giant squid in as many months, as RTÉ News reports. Local fisherman Pete Flannery landed what was the first giant squid recorded in Irish waters…
Sharks feed off a dead whale in the Atlantic 200km northwest of Donegal
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s Pádraig Whooley says he has “lost count” of the number of minke whales seen off West Cork in recent days, as The Irish Times reports. Whales of various cetacean species are now…
Dusty gets a cuddle from her human friend at Inis Oírr harbour recently
#MarineWildlife - Dusty the dolphin earned a measure of infamy in previous years after attacking a number of bathers at her former home in Doolin. But the Wild Atlantic Way’s other resident bottlenose – after Dingle's celebrated Fungie – was…
Dead crayfish in the River Suir
#MarineWildlife - In response to a recent outbreak of crayfish plague in the River Suir and River Deel, emergency disease containment measures are needed to help prevent its spread. Crayfish plague is a disease that kills Ireland’s native white-clawed crayfish.…
Dolphins are up for discussion at the IWDG’s talks during National Biodiversity Week
#MarineWildlife - Whether you’re cruising around the coast or staying put on dry land, there’s much to see and explore during National Biodiversity Week, which kicked off yesterday (Friday 19 May) and continues till next weekend. Among the 50 free…
A giant squid preserved in ice at Melbourne Aquarium in Australia
#GiantSquid - A giant squid measuring nearly six metres in length has been caught off Dingle in Co Kerry — the first encounter with the rare ocean creature in Irish waters in 22 years, as TheJournal.ie reports. Fisherman Pete Flannery…
Dead Crayfish in the Suir. An appeal has been issued downstream of Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir
All water users are being urged to take precautions after confirmation of an outbreak of Crayfish Plague on a stretch of the River Suir downstream of Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir. It comes after large numbers of dead freshwater crayfish were reported…
Coypu are known for their large size compared to other river rodents - and their distinctively coloured teeth
#MarineWildlife - Cork residents near the River Lee are urged to be report any sightings of coypu after one of the large rodents was seen in Cork city last week. The invasive species was released within the last two years…
Salmon Farm Sea Lice Halve Wild Atlantic Salmon Runs Says New Study
#Salmon - Wild Atlantic salmon smolts migrating to sea from Irish rivers can become infected with sea lice from West Coast salmon farms and suffer increased mortality soon after leaving the coast, cutting their numbers by half. That’s the conclusion…

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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