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Marine Wildlife
Aoife O'Mahony Campaign Manager, Fair Seas
There is strong support for more legal protection for Irish waters, according to a coalition of Ireland’s leading environmental non-governmental organisations and networks. Fair Seas has revealed details of its survey conducted to learn about the connection Irish people have…
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European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly is seeking the public’s view on how transparent EU decision-making is in relation to the environment. The public consultation, which closes in just over a month’s time, relates to decisions involving both the marine and terrestrial…
Tiger shark
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin are among a team of marine scientists that have used tiger sharks to discover the world’s largest seagrass ecosystem. According to The Irish Times, the team attached cameras to the sharks who inhabit the enormous…
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan announced the 18 successful recipients of the new €5 million fund
Training for communities in preparing Irish beaches and dunes for climate adaptation is one of 18 projects funded under the Government’s community climate action programme. The project on beaches and dunes is being led by Leave No Trace Ireland, and…
EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius
Mandatory downstream river warnings after pollution incidents and stricter controls on treatment of urban wastewater, which affects the marine environment, are among measures proposed by the European Commission to ensure cleaner air and water. The proposals, which will now be…
ICS is engouraging the shipping industry to take action on reducing harm to endangered whales
The global trade association for shipowners and operators, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) are encouraging the shipping industry to take action to reduce the risk of harm to endangered whale species. This is an issue that the shipping industry…
File image of an iceberg in Greenland’s Disko Bay, north of the Davis Strait
An Irish artist is part of an international expedition that’s dropping hydrophones into the waters off Greenland to record the sounds of melting icebergs. According to the Guardian, Siobhán McDonald will use the recordings from the underwater microphones in a…
Irish water quality is in grave decline according to the EPA Water Quality in 2016-2021 report
A network of 25 environmental organisations has called on the Government to come up with an “effective plan” to address Ireland’s “escalating water pollution crisis”. The Sustainable Water Network (SWAN) was responding to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water quality…
Marine wildlife entangled in a ghost net in the Maldives
Each year enough commercial fishing gear to reach the moon and back is lost or discarded in the world’s oceans. That’s according to what’s being touted as the most comprehensive study ever conducted on lost fishing gear, as the Guardian…
File image of a basking shark at Malin Head
The Loughs Agency says it welcomes the new legislation to protect basking sharks in Irish waters. As reported by Afloat.ie on Monday (3 October), measures to accord the status of ‘protected wild animal’ on basking sharks under the Wildlife Act…
Manx shearwater in flight over the Celtic Sea. Manx shearwaters are a seabird species at risk from oil pollution, due to spending most of their lives at sea, and much of that time on the water surface
“Tiny” amounts of crude oil on the sea surface can damage seabird feathers, according to a University College Cork (UCC) study. Oil less than one percent of the thickness of a hair can cause harm, researchers from UCC’s Marine Ecology…
Eugene Farrelly of Tralee Bay Sea Angling Club is interviewed for the new Fair Seas film
A short film featuring the views of local communities who make a living from the sea is set to be launched in Kerry this week. Fair Seas, a coalition of Ireland’s leading environmental non-governmental organisations and networks, created the 12-minute…
As of October 3rd 2022, basking sharks in Irish waters are legally protected under Section 23 of Ireland’s Wildlife Act
Fair Seas says new regulations giving legal protection to basking sharks mark a huge step forward in conserving the globally threatened species. As of October 3rd 2022, basking sharks in Irish waters are legally protected under Section 23 of Ireland’s…
Two basking sharks pass Malin Head on their annual migration - following legislation to protect the species, the Social Democrats has also called for a protection plan for the fish
Legislation to protect the basking shark in Irish waters has been welcomed by the Social Democrats but the party has called for a protection plan for the fish. As reported by Afloat, the protective measures for basking sharks under the…
Ministers Malcolm Noonan and Charlie McConalogue sign the regulations giving basking shark ‘protected wild animal’ status
Legislation giving the basking shark “protected wild animal” status has been signed into law by two Government ministers. The move, which was first announced last March, has been made official by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm…
Cetacean spotters at Clogher Head in Co Kerry for this year’s All-Ireland Whale Watch Day on Saturday 20 August
Despite lower attendance and a reduced sighting rate, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says it is “delighted” with the return of its All-Ireland Whale Watch Day last month. Held on Saturday 20 August during Heritage Week and for…

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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