Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Marine Wildlife
Killer Whale Sighted In Irish Sea Off Welsh Coast
#MarineWildlife - BBC News reports on three revet sightings of an orca, or killer whale, in the Irish Sea off Ceredigion in Mid Wales. It's believed the orca - which could be John Coe, a large male known for a…
Tern Colony Set To Thrive Under New Dublin Port Plan
#MarineWildlife - Dublin Port Company has launched a new plan to protect a colony of terns that nest within the port. The Dublin Port Tern Colony Management Plan will ensure the conservation of Dublin Port’s terns, small migratory seabirds that…
Rare 'White' Humpback Whale Spotted Off West Cork
#MarineWildlife - Whale watchers will be jostling for position to snap shots of a rare albino humpback whale spotted off Baltimore in West Cork last week, according to Joe.ie. The incredible sight of the Moby-Dick-like 40ft ocean giant was allegedly…
Training Underway in Portsmouth for Orca Ocean Watch Week
#orca – Crews from commercial and Royal Navy vessels have started training for the Orca Ocean Watch Week, an initiative by the whale and dolphin conservation charity ORCA, that is being launched at Portsmouth International Port this month. Between 25th…
Friends Capture Video Of Pod Frolicking In 'Dolphin Capital Of Ireland'
#MarineWildlife - Two friends were caught by surprise by a playful pod of dolphins off Donegal's Malin Head in recent days. And as UTV reports, one of them was quick enough to capture the exciting encounter on video. “Apparently this…
Whale Carcass Causes A Stink On Donegal Beach
#MarineWildlife - Locals near Magheraroarty Beach in Co Donegal were left with a smelly situation last week after the remains of a whale buried on the strand were washed back onto the surface in a matter of days. According to…
'Shark Park' Could Be Big Draw For Wild Atlantic Way
#MarineWildlife - Ireland's basking shark visitors could be a big money-spinner for the Wild Atlantic Way, as Independent.ie's Travel TV reports. The second largest fish in the sea are a regular summer sight off Ireland's coasts, particularly in Donegal, Mayo…
Stranded Dolphins Saved By Kerry Locals
#MarineWildlife - Common dolphins stranded in a Kerry river last weekend were saved by the quick actions of local people, as The Kerryman reports. Trapped by the fast receding tide at the mouth of the Cloghane Estuary on the Dingle…
Paddleboarder's Close Encounter With Humpback Whale Off West Cork
#MarineWildlife - A paddleboarder "still can't believe" the moment when a humpback whale surfaced right under his board off West Cork earlier this week. As the Irish Examiner reports, Jason Coniry was out for a paddle with fellow boarders off…
Kayakers Land Tope Shark For A Snap Off Inishowen
#MarineWildlife - A group of sea anglers off Donegal's Inishowen Peninsula got more than most would bargain for last week when they landed a shark – with video to prove it. But far from fearful at the prospect, Graham Smith…
Minke Whale Calf Beaches On Lough Foyle Shore
#MarineWildlife - A minke whale calf has died after beaching on the shore of Lough Foyle near Limavady last week, as BBC News reports. The whale, thought to be just three months old, was first spotted by locals washed up…
Honeycomb Reef Discovered In Waterford Estuary Could Be World's Biggest
#Biodiversity - Coastwatch volunteers taking part in events for National Biodiversity Week have discovered a massive honeycomb reef as much as a kilometre long in the Waterford Estuary. Members of the public began checking the shore between Hook Head in…
Pollution Threat To Ireland's Killer Whale Regulars
#MarineWildlife - "High pollution levels" could be to blame for the failure of Ireland's only resident killer whale pod to produce any calves. As reported two years ago on Afloat.ie, the well-known orca pod often seen between Scotland and Ireland…
Killer Whales Spotted Off Baltimore In First For 2015
#MarineWildlife - Six weeks after the first sighting of basking sharks this year off West Cork comes news that a pair of killer whales have been seen near Baltimore. The Southern Star reports on the rare sight for the area…
South American River Rat Found In Tipperary Stream
#MarineWildlife - Rodney is the name given to a giant river rat found swimming in a Tipperary stream last week, as TheJournal.ie reports. The three-foot rodent is a coypu, native to South America, and is the first of his kind…
Video Shows Basking Shark On Patrol Off Dingle
#MarineWildlife - Following Friday's look back at the basking shark that surprised bathers off Cape Clear last summer, Independent.ie brings us this remarkable up-close video of the ocean giants returning to the Kerry coast for the warmer months. The footage…

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!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating