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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Marine Wildlife
A Sowerby’s beaked whale breaching
Concerns remain for the health of a rare beaked whale refloated from a Co Waterford beach at the weekend, as The Irish Times reports. The Sowerby’s beaked whale stranded near Helvick Head on Friday (30 August) and was twice returned…
Trinity Conference To Discuss Ireland’s ‘Poor Performance’ On Marine Protected Areas
The global climate crisis and how it relates to biodiversity and ocean protection is a big topic for discussion at a two-day conference in Trinity College Dublin which starts tomorrow (Monday 2 September). The ‘Bigger and Better’ Marine Protected Area…
Breaching humpback whale off Cape Verde this past April
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) sets sail this weekend for Cape Verde next month on its eighth humpback whale expedition. Funded by the Island Foundation, this two-week mission comes just months after the IWDG finally confirmed the breeding…
Greta Thunberg arrives into New York
It's been 15 days since 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg hitched a ride on a sail-powered yacht from Europe to the U.S. for the U.N. Climate Action Summit taking place in New York in mid-September. As Afloat previously reported, Thunberg…
Mediterranean slipper lobster (Scyllarides latus) in its usual habitat
Warming waters are bringing more marine wildlife considered unusual for Ireland to our shores, according to a rare fish specialist. The Irish Sun spoke to Dr Kevin Flannery of Dingle Oceanworld who discussed recent arrivals at the Kerry aquarium, including…
Spirtle, with her distinctive skin markings, seen off Fenit in Tralee Bay
Marine wildlife miracle Spirtle appears to have taken up residence off the Kerry coast if the many sightings over recent weeks are anything to go by. Last month the young dolphin was spotted in the area some weeks after she…
Native white-clawed crayfish like this one have been threatened by outbreaks of crayfish plague
Crayfish plague has been confirmed in the River Nore in Co Kilkenny, marking the eighth record in Irish rivers since 2015 — and the third detected this year alone, as TheJournal.ie reports. Outbreaks of crayfish plague pose a significant threat…
The All Ireland Whale Watch Day takes place next Saturday 24th August between 2:00-5:00pm, at headlands around the coastline. So join in and so doing, you are supporting Whale and Dolphin conservation in Ireland.
Minke and humpback whales arriving and other species of whales and dolphins along the Irish coast is a good omen for this years All Island Whale Watch day. Organiser of the event, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) invite…
This rescued cygnet sadly died as a result of the Shannon oil slick
The Irish Times says Westmeath County Council is investigating an oil spill on the River Shannon south of Athlone in which a number of fish and birds have died. Efforts were made to contain the spill on the Al River,…
RV Celtic Explorer at the Port of Cork before departure
The RV Celtic Voyager departed early this morning (Thursday 1 August) from the Port of Cork on a multidisciplinary marine wildlife survey investigating the biological and oceanographic features of the 100m contour line between Cork to Galway. The survey team…
Fungie frolicking off the Kerry coast
Dingle’s resident dolphin Fungie is one of the longest living solitary cetaceans in the world, according to a new report from wildlife experts. The second edition of the Lone Rangers report identifies Fungie — who has been a fixture of…
Blue Shark caught by Atlantic longline
The fastest sharks in the oceans find few refuges from longline fishing, according to an international study writes Lorna Siggins. The study published in Nature yesterday bears out the concerns of Irish scientists who have called for greater protection of…
A migrating smooth hammerhead, swimming with its dorsal fin exposed, off the US east coast
A shark species previously unrecorded in Irish waters has been sighted in the Celtic Sea. A smooth hammerhead shark was reported on the edge of the continental shelf, south-west of Ireland, during a recent fisheries survey on the Marine Institute’s…
Spirtle is easily spotted by her distinctive scarring from severe sunburn three years ago
Nearly two months after she was spotted off the East Coast, Spirtle the dolphin has been filmed frolicking off the shores of Kerry, as the Irish Mirror reports. The young dolphin is distinctive for the heavy scarring and discolouration on…
The massive barrel jellyfish encountered off the Cornwall coast on Saturday
Divers off the coast of Cornwall captured the remarkable moment when they encountered a ‘giant’ jellyfish the size of a human being. As the Irish News reports, biologist Lizzie Daly and wildlife cameraman Dan Abbott were filing for the UK’s…
The humpback whale spyhopping off the bow of Terry and Tomás Deane’s RIB
Father and son Terry and Tomás Deane went out from the Kerry coast on the longest day of the year with the intention of finding marine wildlife. But little did they expect they would come face-to-face with a pod of…

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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