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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The Causeway Coast is fast becoming a mecca for dolphins – and dolphin watchers, as the News Letter reports. Now regularly spotted from the mainland between Ballycastle and Lough Foyle, the dolphins – which may number as many…
#MarineWildlife - Marine wildlife populations around the globe have been halved since the 1970s, according to a new study on the state of the world's oceans. And despite efforts since the 1990s to stem the decline, overfishing and habitat loss…
The sighting, initially believed to be Humpbacks, may in fact be Blue Whales and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has been asked to confirm the species photographed by the Air Corps off the West coast at the weekend.  To date…
Ballycotton RNLI Called to Dolphin Stranded in Bogland
Ballycotton RNLI was launched at 7.12pm yesterday evening (Sunday 30 August) to aid a dolphin that was stranded due to extreme high tides in a bogland near Ballycotton. Both the all-weather and the inshore lifeboats with their volunteer crews were…
Prawn Fishing Threat To Irish Sea Diversity Say Scientists
#MarineWildlife - The future of the Irish Sea's diverse habitat is under threat from "unsustainable" prawn fishing, scientists have warned. But as Independent.ie reports, fishing groups say Dublin Bay prawns are being caught with sensitivity to vulnerable fish species that may be…
Minke Whale Carcass Left To Decompose On Clare Beach
#MarineWildlife - The carcass of a minke whale that washed ashore between Doolin and Liscannor in Co Clare a fortnight ago will be left to decompose naturally, as the Irish Examiner reports. The six-metre-long adult female, believed to weigh more…
Drone Shoot Captures Donegal Dolphins
#donegaldolphins – Afloat.ie reader Paul McMenamin recorded these Dolphins off Malin head in Donegal on Sunday. McMenamin was out with friends in a boat 'messing about on a rubber ring' when a pod of Dolphins came cruising alongside. Paul told Afloat…
Great White Sharks Off The Irish Coast? TV Hunt For Ocean's Apex Predator
#MarineWildlife - BBC presenter and explorer Ben Fogle is fronting a new expedition by a documentary crew to find evidence of great white sharks living in the Irish Sea. As the Mirror reports, the "top secret" mission launched on Friday…
Head To The Coast For All Ireland Whale Watch Day This Sunday
#MarineWildlife - The arrival of minke whales and a host of other whale and dolphin species around Ireland's coast seems like a good omen for this year's All Ireland Whale Watch Day this Sunday 23 August, according to the Irish…
Basking Sharks Vid From Malin Head on the Wild Atlantic Way
#baskingshark – A Donegal based adventurer and mountain guide has compiled some superb footage showing basking sharks off Malin Head. Bren Whelan specialises in rock climbing on sea cliffs in truly remarkable locations. The attached video shows scenes from yesterday off Ireland's…
Minke Whale Carcass Found On Clare Beach
#MarineWildlife - A young minke whale carcass has washed up at a popular swimming spot on the Clare coast, as Independent.ie reports. The carcass was filmed at Hayes Hole in Liscannor by local man Roderick Gallivan, who added that whales…
'Piranha' Shrimp Discovered In Irish Waters Feeds On Whales
#MarineWildlife - Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, marine scientists have discovered a species of whale-eating shrimp of the coast of south-west Ireland. As TheJournal.ie reports, these amphipods are not quite the shrimp…
Pilot Whale Trio Refloated Twice After West Kerry Stranding
#MarineWildlife - A trio of pilot whales were lucky to be surrounded by beachgoers when they stranded in West Kerry on Thursday morning (6 August). But locals and visitors in the Brandon Bay area have been asked to remain vigilant…
Kerry Welcomes First Sea Eagle Chicks In A Century
#MarineWildlife - Kerry is celebrating the first sea eagle chicks to fly their nests in the county for over 100 years, as The Irish Times reports. Despite incidents of poisoning suspected in the deaths of three of the marine birds…
Beluga Whale Spotted Off Antrim Coast In First For NI
#MarineWildlife - Northern Irish marine researchers have recorded a first after spotting a beluga whale off the Antrim coast this week, as BBC News reports. Colder sea temperatures than normal for this time of year may explain why the Arctic…
Dusty Strikes Again As Swimmers Warned At Aran Islands Beach
#Dusty - Dusty the dolphin is back in the news after 'attacking' a swimmer off a beach at Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands, as the Connacht Tribune reports. Two years after the bottlenose dolphin courted controversy by causing serious…

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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