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Marine Wildlife
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…
Private Jet Sought To Fly Leon The Loggerhead To New Home
#MarineWildlife - Leon, the loggerhead turtle nursed back to health over the past year, has been ready to return to the wild since last month, as plans were made to relocate her to warmer waters off the Canary Islands. But…
Sea Lion Jumps Passenger Boat To Nab Himself A Fish
#MarineWildlife - There was no stopping this determined sea lion who chased down a speedy boat to grab himself a prize catch. As the video above shows, the boat full of tourists off Cabo San Lucas, at the southerm tip…
Short-Beaked Dolphins' First Sighting In Strangford Lough
#MarineWildlife - Marine researchers captured a first for Strangford Lough last week when they filmed a pair of short-beaked dolphins frolicking in the waters. According to the Belfast Telegraph, the scientists from Queen's University were on the lough to collect…
Irish Whale & Dolphin Group Hosts AGM In Dublin Tomorrow
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) hosts its annual general meeting at the Best Western Plus Academy Plaza Hotel at the top of O'Connell Street in Dublin tomorrow 8 November 2014. The event, which kicks off at…
Extreme Sportsman Dodges Sharks To Climb On Whale Carcass
#MarineWildlife - An extreme sports enthusiast has been lambasted for climbing onto the floating carcass of a whale while it was surrounded by sharks. As Main Online reports, Perth man Harrison Williams was spotted by surprised onlookers swimming to the…
Dolphins' 'Smiles' Are Not What They Seem
#MarineWildlife - Writing in today's Irish Times, Michael Viney reminds that our friendly relations with dolphins are not always what they appear to be. Indeed, he repeats the warnings of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's (IWDG) Dr Simon Berrow,…
Manx Seal Pup Death Rate Highest In Six Years Says Group
#MarineWildlife - Seal pup deaths around the Isle of Man are at their highest level in six years, prompting concerns for the health of the marine mammals on the Irish Sea island, as BBC News reports. "Particularly harsh" weather conditions…
Woman Tells Of 'Pure Terror' In Doolin Dolphin Incident Last Summer
#MarineWildlife - The swimmer who suffered serious injuries when she was attacked by Doolin's formerly resident dolphin has spoken of the "pure terror" of the incident last summer. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the woman was hospitalised after being stuck…
'Boomerang' Sighting Marks Bumper Day For Whale Spotting In Celtic Sea
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reports on a recent encounter with a humpback whale that's no stranger to our shores. Marine mammal observer William Hunt was on the RV Celtic Explorer along the south coast where…
European Commission Urges UK To Protect Harbour Porpoise
#MarineWildlife - Via the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) comes news that the European Commission (EC) is asking the United Kingdom to designate protected areas for the harbour porpoise. The EU legislation on the conservation of natural habitats and of…
See Video Highlights From 'Cetaceans On The Frontier' Voyage
#MarineWildlife - Care of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), Tony Whelan produced this video documenting some of the highlights of the sixth Cetaceans on the Frontier marine research trip last month. Researchers boarded the RV Celtic Explorer bound…
Climate Change Driving Fish Species From Tropics Say Researchers
#MarineWildlife - Climate change is driving fish species away from the tropics for more hospitable, warming waters elsewhere, according to scientists from the University of British Columbia. RTÉ News has more on the story, which outlines that even in the…
Leon The Loggerhead Headed To Warmer Spanish Waters
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Times reports on a change of plans for Leon the loggerhead turtle, who was expected to be released back onto the wild last month but is now headed for much warmer climes off the Canaries. Leon…
Galway Bay Swimmers Rescued From Dolphin Attack In Salthill
#MarineWildlife - Galway RNLI's lifeboat came to the rescue of five swimmers who were attacked by a dolphin off Blackrock Tower at Salthill yesterday evening (Wednesday 1 October). Reports from people who witnessed the incident say the large marine mammal was…
Sharks And Sunfish Bring Irish Sea To Life At Summer's End
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Sea is providing plenty of big game for sea angling enthusiasts as of late, with impressively sized porbeagle sharks among the recent catches. As Angling Times reports, Dutch angler Robin Van Da Meer reeled 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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