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Marine Wildlife
More Sightings of Humpback Whale off Dublin Come to the Surface
Since the first report of the Humpback whale off Howth, north Co Dublin, on Thursday, the first sighting in the area in almost 20 years, several other eyewitness reports are surfacing too. The sitings are among a handful of validated…
First Humpback Whale Spotted off Howth in 20 Years
A Hump Back Whale was spotted off Howth head, Co. Dublin this afternoon by local canoeists. It is the first reported sighting in the Eastern Irish Sea in over 20 years according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who…
Fin Whales Spotted off Waterford
The first inshore Fin Whales of 2010 have been spotted off the Waterford coast, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group have reported. The Fin Whale is the second largest animal on the planet, with only the Blue Whale larger. Fin…
Energetic Atlantic Dolphins are Fussy Eaters
Atlantic Dolphins choose to eat high-energy fish to suit their energetic lifestyles, scientists have found. A study of dolphins off the French coast shows that dolphins shy away from less calorie-dense prey in favour of high-energy food. This dispels a…
Warm Water Species on the Increase Around Ireland’s Coasts
Mr. Sean Connick, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, today (June 29th) launched a milestone report on the effects of climate change on Ireland’s marine ecosystems. The document - Irish Ocean Climate and Ecosystem…
Satellite-Linked Tagging of Porbeagle Sharks
Scientists at the Marine Institute, Galway, are working with anglers around Ireland to study the migration and diving behaviour of porbeagle sharks (Latin name - Lamna nasus) in the northeast Atlantic. Porbeagle sharks are one of the top marine predators…
Algal Bloom Heads for Ireland
A NASA satellite has spotted an enormous algal bloom off the south-west corner of Ireland, heading for the coast via the Gulf Stream. The agency said that while volcanic deposits of silt on the water can encourage these blooms, this…
Ew, what's that smell?
Cruiser Racer visitors to Dublin for this weekend's Cruiser Nationals aren't the only ones to be put off by Dublin's Bay foul smells it appears. Residents in Dublin have in recent days reported sewage like odours in the north and…
Irish Sea Jellyfish Survey continues
A four-year survey of jellyfish population and movements in the Irish Sea continues this summer, with the public being asked to report sightings of any jellyfish that they see on the water. The EcoJel project is a collaboration between UCC…
Irish Seal Sanctuary Moves to Courtown
On Saturday May 1st, the Irish Seal Sanctuary made its last journey from Garristown in North Dublin to release three seals in Courtown’s North Beach, Co Wexford. The weekend marked the beginning of a new era for the ISS who…
Suspicion Grows Clam was Deliberately Introduced to the Barrow
The finding of “a well-established, high-density colony” of the freshwater Asian clam in the river Barrow at St Mullins, south Co Carlow, has alarmed fisheries officials and wildlife experts. Michael Parson has the full story in The Irish Times. Dr…
Irish Whale and Dolphin Group Online Conference Tomorrow
Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) Sightings Co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley will be presenting at this weekend's TEDX event in the West Cork Hotel, Skibereen, Co. Cork tomorrow which will be streamed live on the internet and can be viewed here.

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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