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Marine Wildlife
A lion’s mane jellyfish in Newfoundland, Canada
#Jellyfish - Swimmers have been warned away from Seapoint and Sandycove on the south shores of Dublin Bay after sightings of potentially dangerous lion’s mane jellyfish in the water. Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has put up warning signs in the…
A kingfisher on the Royal Canal as seen in RTÉ’s series Waterways
#InlandWaters - BirdWatch Ireland is appealing to users of Ireland’s inland waterways to get involved in its survey of river birds in man-made structures. Ireland supports a rich and diverse network of rivers, canals and other waterways. Though often difficult…
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…
Take a visit on board the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group's research vessel, Celtic Mist. The ketch is berthed at the Grand Canal Quay of the dock basin today as part of the Dublin Riverfest.
#HelpCetaceans - From the fast and furious ThunderCats to the more serious side of marine wildlife as the Irish Whale & Dolphin ketch is part of the Dublin Riverfest which concludes this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore. As previously reported on…
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…
Flood Relief Scheme Begins On River Bandon
#FloodRelief - The scheduled Bandon Flood Relief Scheme work programme for 2017 has now commenced on the River Bandon in Co Cork. The scheme consists of a combination of flood defences and dredging of the river bed to a level…
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…
The sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus), one of three shark species with six gills, is usually found in the warmer waters of the Mediterranean
#Angling - A group of sea anglers off the Co Clare coast have hooked what’s thought to be the largest ever sixgill shark caught by rod and line in Europe. As BBC News reports, English angler Ben Bond struggled for…
Dublin Bay which is designated as a UNESCO Biosphere that highlights the important relationship between people and wildlife
#BiosphereTours – Dublin Bay Biosphere Guided Tours begin today from Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Dublin and Howth and on every Wednesday until 14 June, writes Jehan Ashmore. Dublin Bay which is internationally recognised for its wealth of marine wildlife and cultural…
The as-yet-unnamed baby Atlantic cownose ray at Bray’s National Sea Life aquarium
#MarineWildlife - Bray’s National Sea Life aquarium has announced the birth of Ireland’s first tropical stingray, as TheJournal.ie reports. The junior Atlantic cownose ray was born a month ago but staff at the North Co Wicklow marine wildlife centre wanted…
Humpback whales like this one off the US coast are regular visitors to Irish waters
#MarineWildlife - The first humpback whale sighting for the new season in Irish waters was made last week off the Beara Peninsula. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) Patrick Lyne was in prime position to witness the unmistakable tail…

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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