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Marine Wildlife
File image of a common or harbour seal
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has confirmed it is investigating the recent discovery of beheaded seals on a Co Kerry beach. But as TheJournal.ie reports, the situation may not be as sinister as might appear at first glance…
File image of a common seal pup
Local residents have been disturbed by the discovery of decapitated seals on a Co Kerry beach, as the Irish Examiner reports. Speaking to Kerry Today on Radio Kerry, a local woman described coming upon the grisly scene on Banna beach…
New arrival - A Seal at the East Pier, Dun Laoghaire
This inquisitive Dublin Bay young seal made his way up the steps of Dun Laoghaire's East Pier much to the surprise of weekend harbour strollers.  Harbour and grey seals have a year-round presence at Dun Laoghaire and Dublin Bay in general. …
BirdWatch Ireland map highlighting bird hides at the inner Rogerstown Estuary in north Co Dublin
BirdWatch Ireland recently made an appeal to watersport enthusiasts in Fingal to avoid the inner estuary at Rogerstown, north of Portrane in Co Dublin, for fear of disturbing the area’s marine wildlife. The statement comes after “several incidents recently where…
Shore litter
Sea2it is a Local Community Interest Company and brings together community groups and individuals as volunteers to tackle marine and freshwater litter, and the organisation has just announced that it has had some exciting news. Sea2it is investing £18k tackling…
Dead Swan on Lough Beg Found to Have Bird Flu
The BBC has reported that a wild swan found dead earlier this week at Lough Beg near Toomebridge, a small village on the North West corner of Lough Neagh has tested positive for Bird Flu. Lough Beg is a small…
Snap! Irish Humpback whale named #HBIRL38 has been photographed off Scotland and Ireland
The first Irish and Scottish Humpback 'match' has been made from images taken on the Shetland Islands at the weekend and then matched to photographs of the same whale off Ireland in 2015 and seen again off Irish coastal waters…
A still from the Explorers Education Programme’s Wild About Wildlife film
The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme is interacting with children around Ireland among events for Science Week, which continues to this weekend. Exploring the seashore will be the focus of the Explorers team as they share their Wild About Wildlife…
File image of a common or harbour seal
Today’s Sunday Independent reports that Government ministers have shot down proposals for a seal cull by rifle from boats off Cork and Kerry. Internal emails show that Minister of State Malcolm Noonan rejected the suggestion as being “politically unacceptable”. And…
Fifth and sixth class pupils at St Patrick’s NS in Craanford, Co Wexford show off their shark-related art
Fifth and sixth class pupils at St Patrick’s National School in Craanford, Co Wexford had the opportunity to share their knowledge of sharks with RTÉ’s children’s news programme news2day this afternoon (Wednesday 4 November). The youngsters recently took part in…
A Cork Harbour Seal at Cobh
One of the most difficult, controversial and upsetting marine environment stories I have reported in my time as a marine correspondent concerns seals. I've seen them rehabilitated by a sanctuary and marvelled at the work put into healing injured, sick…
The National Inshore Fisherman's Association fleet (NIFA) is one of 15 groups making representations to the take the “steps necessary” to reinstate the ban and protect inshore stocks
Environmental and commercial fishing groups have joined forces to call for a restoration of a ban on trawling by larger vessels within six nautical miles of the coast. Marine life such as dolphins, small scale fishing vessels and sea birds…
In relation to Fungie, estimated to be 37 years old, the IWDG says that “as the time increases without a sighting and the search effort continues", it is "more likely" that he is dead rather than just simply missing.
As hopes fade of Fungie’s return to Dingle, research suggests that “missing” dolphins are more likely to have migrated than died. Dolphins in the Shannon estuary which were initially presumed to have perished had in fact moved to nearby bays,…
Fungie as seen in Dingle in the summer of 2019
“It’s better this way, rather than Fungie wash up dead on the shores of Dingle Bay, [that he] just disappear.” That’s the message from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) chief executive as nearly two weeks have passed since…
The culturally iconic leaping Atlantic salmon
New research led by scientists at University College Cork (UCC) which uses genetic fingerprinting techniques indicated that captive-born salmon are far less successful at reproducing as wild salmon spawning in the same river. “We looked at the lifetime reproductive success…
Professor John Quinn with the Gannet colony sign on the Great Saltee Islands
COVID-19’s impact on visits to offshore islands may be benefiting the gannet seabird colony on Wexford’s Great Saltee. A new University College Cork (UCC) study has recorded the level of disturbance to the birds caused by tourists in the summer…

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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