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Marine Wildlife
Seapoint Marram Grass Planting in Co Louth in May 2022
Thousands of volunteers answered Clean Coasts and National Spring Clean joint call-to-action to organise a clean-up to protect our ocean today, June 8th.  Last May, Irish environmental charity Clean Coasts joined forces with National Spring Clean, to provide communities around…
Pictured at the launch of the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Clean Oceans Initiative Fishing Gear Retirement Scheme to coincide with World Oceans Day on 8 June are: BIM Chairman Aidan Cotter, fisher David Kirwan, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. and BIM CEO Jim O’Toole
A “Clean Oceans” fishing gear retirement scheme has been announced by Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue to mark World Oceans Day. The project, which is aimed at collecting old and damaged fishing gear, is to take place this autumn and…
A humpback whale, one of three sighted by PhD student Miguel Blázquez Hervás some 10 km east of Fastnet lighthouse, West Cork
Stunning humpback whale images have been captured by a postgraduate student east of the Fastnet lighthouse during a research trip off the West Cork coast. Miguel Blázquez Hervás, a PhD student at the Atlantic Technological University (ATU) in Galway, was…
The harmless-looking goldfish is so voracious that attempting to save its life by releasing it into the wild could be “catastrophic” for native biodiversity, a new study suggests. A study by Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) scientists assessed the ecological impact…
Heidi McIlvenny, marine conservation manager at Ulster Wildlife, inspecting one of the 24 native oyster nurseries housed underneath the pontoons
Hundreds of native oysters have returned to Belfast Lough as part of efforts to bring the ‘ocean superheroes’ back from the brink of extinction. The ambitious aquaculture restoration project, officially launched on Friday (20 May) by Ulster Wildlife to mark…
Whale watchers at Cloghna Head in Co Cork
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is running a series of land-based, guided whale watches in five counties around the island of Ireland this Saturday 21 May.   Hosted in celebration of Biodiversity Week and to promote the biological recording of…
The dwarf sperm whale found washed up in Glengarriff, Co Cork earlier this month
A whale species never before recorded in Irish waters has been confirmed by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). The marine wildlife specimen reported at Glengarriff in West Cork on 1 May — which live-stranded before it was found…
A whale shark in the Egyptian Red Sea, a busy shipping area
The world’s largest fish may be under threat due to collisions with ships in the oceans, a new study has claimed. As reported by RTÉ News, researchers in the Global Shark Movement Project set out to identify reasons for a…
Grace O'Sullivan
The Irish Wildlife Trust has welcomed a European Parliament report calling for action on bottom trawling but has questioned why most MEPs did not support a ban on the fishing technique in marine protected areas (MPAs). A report by Portuguese…
The Marine Institute's Explorers team around the country are planning a Kraken Family Day on the beach for European Maritime Day on the 21st May
The Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme is delighted to announce that they will be hosting five 'Kraken beach events' for families on seashores around the country, celebrating as part of European Maritime Day, on Saturday 21st May at 12pm. The…
Natural oyster reef - Artificial oyster reefs along the US Gulf Coast are designed to protect and restore shoreline habitat and create living oyster reefs as a sustainable option for reducing erosion of coastal marshes and protecting communities from storm surge. A new study shows restoration of marshes and oyster reefs are among the most cost-effective solutions for reducing coastal flood risks
There are many reasons to love oysters, and now an NUI Galway scientist has suggested another one. Apart from its nutritional benefits, the shellfish also provides a cost-effective solution to the impacts of climate change. Natural reefs built from oysters…
Images of the albino humpback whale spotted off the Azores in recent days
Photos taken off the Azores in recent days show that a white humpback whale mother and calf may be among the marine wildlife species’ annual migration to the North Atlantic. And that means whale watchers in Ireland may have a…
Diving duck species have recorded the greatest decline across 97 lakes, rivers and coastal estuaries according to a new wetland survey. 15 waterbird species are “stable or increasing”, while 20 species are declining, Birdwatch Ireland reports. The Irish Wetland Bird…
Launching the National Biodiversity Conference 2022 (from left to right): Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Local Government, Oonagh Duggan, Head of Advocacy, Birdwatch Ireland and member of the National Biodiversity Forum Anne Murray, Biodiversity Officer Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, member of the National Biodiversity Forum Professor Tasman Crowe, School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin and Chair of the National Biodiversity Forum
Fishers, scientists and environmental activists have been urged to participate in the Government’s national biodiversity conference in Dublin in June. Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan said the event at Dublin Castle from June 8th to…
Wong Cheuk Yin Cayden, a student at St Columba’s College in Dublin, combined digital animation with live action, scripting and voiceover to create his video for the EPA’s “ The Story of Your Stuff” competition
The negative impact of paper tissues on water consumption and pollution is the theme of the winning entry in an annual Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contest for young people. Wong Cheuk Yin Cayden, a student at St Columba’s College in…
Diver video is recorded to monitor the seagrass condition around the entire circumference of new eco-friendly moorings on Strangford Lough
At the end of March, the Strangford and Lecale Partnership started a new pilot study of Advanced Mooring Systems in Strangford Lough. It is the first study of its kind in Northern Ireland, and these eco-friendly moorings will avoid or…

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!