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Marine Wildlife
Basking Shark Tracked from Donegal to Tropical Waters in Exciting Discovery
#shark – The journey of a basking shark has been tracked from Malin head, Co. Donegal to tropical waters west of the Cape Verde Islands, over 5000km. This is an exciting new finding for the iconic shark species which visit…
RYA 'Encouraged' By Britain's Moves On Marine Conservation Zones
#RYA - The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has said it is "encouraged" by the British government's approach to designating Marine Conservations Zones (MCZs) around the coastlines of England and Wales - the details of which have disappointed environmental groups. RYA…
Donegal Shark Prank Not So Funny After All
#MarineWildlife - Recent hijinks by a group of Irish surfers in 'shark-infested waters' off Donegal have been making the rounds online - but they're not all what they seem. IrishCentral reports on the video, apparently posted by surfers from Rossnowlagh,…
Dismay Over Britain's 'Lack of Ambition' Over Marine Conservation Zones
#MarineWildlife - Fears among conservation groups that the UK would enact just a quarter of the proposed Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in British waters have been realised with the news that just 31 out of a potential 127 sites will…
Black Swan Bedazzles Birdwatchers in Belfast
#BlackSwan - A rare black swan has been spotted in the wild making its home in Northern Ireland, as BBC News reports. The species, which is native to Australia, has never before been seen in the wild on this island.…
Humpback Sightings Brighten a Dreary Winter in Baltimore
#MarineWildlife - The Sunday Independent reports on the recent visits by humpback whales to Baltimore that have taken the West Cork village by storm. "The familiar vocabularies of fishing and sailing, which normally permeate worthwhile conversation in the village, have…
Dolphins Make a Noise in the Shannon Estuary
#Dolphin - YouTube user Karl Grabe from Cork has uploaded this wonderful snippet of dolphins vocalising in the Shannon Estuary. The audio comes from the website for Listening to the Deep Ocean Current (LIDO), which collects a number of live…
Humpback, Fin Whales Moving East Along Cork Coast Says IWDG
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reports of another "frenzy of activity" while on a whale research cruise off West Cork this week. The 'members only' trip on Wednesday 5 December took in the hotspot west of…
Six New Marine Sites Chosen for Conservation
#MarineWildlife - Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan announced on Wednesday the proposal of six new marine sites for designation as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) to protect marine habitats and species listed on the 1992 EU…
Providence Not Informed of Dalkey Island Designation
#DALKEY DESIGNATION – The company prospecting for oil off Dalkey in Dublin Bay, Providence Resources said that they had not been given advance information of a Government proposal to designate an area from Dalkey Island to north of Swords as…
Concern Over Impact of Seismic Survey on Dublin Bay Porpoises
#PORPOISES - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has expressed concern over the potential impact of a 2D seismic survey on harbour porpoises in Dublin Bay.  As recently reported on Afloat.ie, Providence Resources has been granted a foreshore license for…
Irish Sea 'Teeming' with Dolphins Says Wildlife Charity
#MARINE WILDLIFE - Large numbers of dolphins have been filmed in the Irish Sea off the Welsh coast by wildlife volunteers, as WalesOnline reports. The conservationists with the Sea Trust charity, based in Pembrokeshire, recorded the "dolphin-fest" from the deck…
Photographs of Irish Rock Pools Wins Fans in USA
#marinewildlife – Daragh Muldowney of Dulra photography has recently returned to Ireland from a whirl wind six week tour of the USA, where he successfully exhibited his collection of photographs of rock pools called Jewellery Box – Ireland's Hidden Gems.…
Bubble Feeding Whales Caught on Camera off Baltimore, West Cork
#whales – Unique video of whales "bubble feeding" off Baltimore was captured by sailor Youen Jacob Jnr just minutes after setting out from his home port at the weekjend. The RNLI lifeboat man and sailing champion Jacob, managed to photograph…
Twitter Fears Unfounded as Dingle's Fungie is Alive and Flipping
#FUNGIE - He was the subject of rumours of his demise earlier this week - but the people of Dingle say their most famous resident, Fungie the dolphin, is alive and flipping. A spokeswoman for Dingle Dolphin Boat Tours confirmed…
EU Aims to Reduce Marine Litter
#marinelitter – Marine litter is a serious threat to the coastal and marine environment. Marine habitats are contaminated with man-made garbage and other waste, posing growing environmental, economic, health and aesthetic problems. Marine litter is composed of up to 80…

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!