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Marine Wildlife
Migratory Swan Survey Set For This Weekend
#SwanCensus - Only a handful of Bewick's swans have been recorded in Ireland this winter ahead of a major international survey of migratory swans this weekend. As RTÉ News reports, just three of the visiting waterfowl species have been sighted…
Courtown Sees Off Latest Rescue Seals
#MarineWildlife - After last week's good news of a seal pup rescue in Northern Ireland, on the other end of the island a number of similar rescue seals got a fresh start for the New Year. The Gorey Guardian reports…
Whale Genes Could Hold Secret To Longer Lifespan
#MarineWildlife - The secrets to a longer lifespan could be hiding in the genes of the bowhead whale, according to a new scientific study. Silicon Republic has news of the paper involving scientists from Dublin City University that explores the…
Exploris Sees In New Year With Seal Pup Rescue
#MarineWildlife - A moulting seal pup is in good hands at Northern Ireland's only seal sanctuary after being separated from its mother in Strangford Lough. As the Belfast Telegraph reports, the pup – one of many orphaned in the lough…
Deep Sea 'Mushrooms' Add To A Weird & Wonderful 2014 For Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - 2014 brought us some offbeat marine wildlife stories on Afloat.ie, from a sea lion leaping onto a speedboat to nab himself a fish, to a French 'bad boy' dolphin's tour of Ireland's west coast. We also learned that…
Lost Seal Being Treated For Pneumonia
#MarineWildlife - The grey seal who surprised Merseyside in the days before Christmas by getting lost in a field some 30km from the Irish Sea is now being treated for pneumonia, as The Guardian reports. "He is much more settled…
Young Seal Found Lost & Exhausted In Muddy Field Far From Sea
#MarineWildlife - A very lost seal has been rescued after it was found exhausted in a field some 30km from the Irish Sea in northern England yesterday (22 December). Yahoo News! reports that the young male grey seal was spotted…
Fungie Surprises Seaweed Farmers With Spectacular Leap
#MarineWildlife - A pair of seaweed farmers made a friend off the Kerry coast recently when Dingle's resident dolphin decided to join them for a swim. Mail Online has some remarkable photos of the moment when Fungie, the 40-year-old cetacean…
Locals Look Out For Seal Pup In Malahide
#MarineWildlife - The Dublin People has a heartwarming story of kind Malahide locals looking out for a lone seal pup earlier this month. The little one was found by swimmer David Tuite sitting alone on a rock at Low Rock…
Three New MCZs On Cards To Help Protect NI Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Northern Ireland may get three more Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) under proposals being put forward by the NI Department of Environment. As the Belfast Telegraph reports, Rathlin, Outer Belfast Lough and Carlingford Lough could join Strangford Lough as…
Grey Seal Documentary Screening In Dublin This Weekend
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Film Institute (IFI) in Dublin is hosting special screenings of a new documentary that celebrates 100 years of the first wildlife species to be protected under law. Lanugo: The Great Grey Seal/100 Years, 100 Voices marks…
Leona The Loggerhead On The Hunt For Food After Successful Return To The Ocean
#MarineWildlife - Leona the Loggerhead's last known whereabouts put her swimming south of the Canary Islands after her successful release last week, according to The Irish Times. The female sea turtle jetted off with Aer Lingus to the warmer waters…
Dolphin Visitor 'Clet' Pops Up In Scotland
#MarineWildlife - Two months after striking up a friendship with fellow 'dolphina-non-grata' Dusty in his travels around Ireland, 'bad boy' bottlenose Clet has moved on again - this time to the west coast of Scotland. According to the Island News…
Porpoises' Biggest Threat? It's Grey Seals, Say European Researchers
#MarineWildlife - Marine scientists think they've found the answer to the mystery of dead porpoises washed up on French and Belgian beaches with dog-like bite marks. As the Irish Examiner reports, their research points the finger at grey seals -…
Loggerhead Turtle Will Fly To New Home Next Week
#MarineWildlife - There's some great news for Leon - or Leona - the loggerhead turtle, who will finally be jetting off to her new home next week. According to RTÉ News, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has arranged…
Six Humpback Whales Surprise Small Sailboat
#MarineWildlife - The video above shows the shocking moment when a small boat of wildlife watchers was suddenly surrounded by six giant humpback whales. As the Irish Mirror reports, the duo who captured this amazing footage were sailing in a…

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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