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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Marine Wildlife
Orcas pictured on the south coast of Portugal, 12 miles from Cape Santa Maria in Faro
Late last summer and into the Autumn, there were several reports of orcas – "killer whales" if you want to be more sensational – getting decidedly friendly to the point of aggression with fishing boats and sailing cruisers off the…
File image of seals which are a common sight around Irish shores
A “huge rise” in dead seals recorded around the Irish coast includes a number with what appear to be gunshot wounds. As the Irish Examiner reports, Seal Rescue Ireland has released figures from its ‘deal seal database’ which show 202…
The 15,000-ton RRS Sir David Attenborough
If you're on the North Coast of Ireland today keep an eye out for the RRS Sir David Attenborough says RSPB Rathlin Island Reserve. This ship is the UK's brand new polar research vessel, and it will be off the…
Diving in Strangford Lough
As part of the Northern Ireland Science Festival this year, the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR) is offering two Virtual Dives which will take you on an underwater journey above the seabed in Strangford Lough. The dates are…
Arthus Bertrand’s documentary “Home” from 2009 portrays “the beautiful diversity of our ecosystem
Climate change and its impact on sea and land is the theme of this year’s “Night of Ideas” festival hosted by the French embassy. The “Green Night of Ideas” lasts the month of February, with films available to view for…
River Corrib, Galway, Ireland
Galway city is struggling to cope with the volume of untreated wastewater released into the Corrib estuary and bay, a new report claims. As The Times reports, a study by An Taisce estimates untreated water amounting to 30 Olympic size…
Ireland's Ramsar sites, such as Clara Bog above, are important for their variety of wetlands habitats, for wintering and breeding birds and for plants, mammals and invertebrates
They might be small pockets of marshy ground, or they could be on bogs, in estuaries, or turloughs. All these are wetland habitats, and are the focus of a new photographic contest to mark World Wetlands day today, February 2nd.…
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology researcher Ryan Wilson-Parr will speak about the Hen Harrier (above) Project
Once far more familiar in coastal areas, three of Ireland’s most endangered birds are the subject of a webinar hosted today by the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT). The threats posed to and monitoring projects on the curlew, the corncrake and…
Short Film on Cork’s Otters to Have Online Premiere
The otters of Cork get a tribute in a new documentary that gets its online premiere this Tuesday 2 February at 7pm. Made by the Cork Nature Network with funds from The Heritage Council among others, Cork Otters explores the…
The shorttail nurse shark - so name due to its small size – grows to approximately 75 centimetres (30 inches) and is found in coral reefs
Marine scientists have found that a critically endangered shark in southern African has been identified in waters over 2,000 km away from its usual habitat. The scientists led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) say that information and images dating…
‘Ireland’s Blubber Book’ — A New Educational Resource for Young & Aspiring Marine Biologists
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has announced a new educational resource for young and aspiring marine science experts. Ireland’s Blubber Book: Flukes Junior Vol 1 is a comprehensive workbook on cetaceans – the marine wildlife family comprising whales, dolphins and…
A Fin Whale off the Waterford coast - Environment Minister Eamon Ryan has increased funding to Environmental NGOs that includes the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
Minister Ryan has announced significant funding of €1,764,000 for the Irish Environmental Network and its members in 2021. This is an increase of €704,000 on the level of funding provided in 2020. The Irish Environmental Network is made up of…
Back to the Source: Saving Europe's Biodiversity Starts in the Ocean
A coalition of environmental groups says there are “key marine policy gaps” in the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy 2030. “Tangible and binding” actions must be taken to ensure the proposed biodiversity strategy ensures “the long-term health” of oceans, the group of…
The Dolphin on Crawfordsburn Beach
Last Wednesday (January 6th) Bangor Coastguard Team answered a report of a cetacean washed up on Crawfordsburn Beach on Belfast Lough. It was identified on social media as a Common Dolphin and it was suggested that the find should be…
The European flat oyster Ostrea edulis was last recorded in Belfast Lough in the Victorian era
Marine scientists have been baffled by the unexpected return of wild oysters to Belfast Lough, as the Guardian reports. The threatened shellfish species was last recorded in the Northern Ireland lough in the late 1800s before overfishing destroyed the native population.…
Christmas Whales off the Waterford Coast
 The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group is reporting a sighting of large Fin Whales close to the shore at Hevlick Head on the County Waterford Coast. Andrew Malcolm photographed and identified the pod close to shore feeding. There were at…

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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