Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Marine Wildlife
The Dolphin on Crawfordsburn Beach
Last Wednesday (January 6th) Bangor Coastguard Team answered a report of a cetacean washed up on Crawfordsburn Beach on Belfast Lough. It was identified on social media as a Common Dolphin and it was suggested that the find should be…
The European flat oyster Ostrea edulis was last recorded in Belfast Lough in the Victorian era
Marine scientists have been baffled by the unexpected return of wild oysters to Belfast Lough, as the Guardian reports. The threatened shellfish species was last recorded in the Northern Ireland lough in the late 1800s before overfishing destroyed the native population.…
Christmas Whales off the Waterford Coast
 The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group is reporting a sighting of large Fin Whales close to the shore at Hevlick Head on the County Waterford Coast. Andrew Malcolm photographed and identified the pod close to shore feeding. There were at…
Map of Waterford Harbour
Concerns have been raised after the remains of a number of marine mammals were found in Waterford Harbour in recent days. According to The Irish Times, Coastwatch has called on Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue to investigate the deaths of four…
Ronald Surgenor - Marsh Volunteer Award for Marine Conservation
Ronald Surgenor is a Project Officer with the Ulster Wildlife Trust and has been awarded the Marsh Volunteer Award for Marine Conservation. As well as caring for nature reserves and peatlands, Ronald is a dedicated volunteer sea-angler for the shark…
Harry Casey swam out to greet the dolphin pod off Myrtleville this past Tuesday
A sea swimmer got “close enough to be a bit nervous” with a pod of dolphins off Myrtleville earlier this week. Harry Casey tells the Irish Examiner about his once-in-a-lifetime experience of swimming out to greet the marine wildlife off…
WhaleTales”  takes place today
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has recommended that a single body should handle all mitigation measures to reduce impact of offshore wind farms on marine mammals. A policy document published by the NGO includes recommendations to ensure offshore…
Sperm whale at surface
Up to 380 sperm whales are living in deep waters off the Irish coast, a newly published study has found.  This makes sperm whales “one of the most abundant great whale species” in these waters, expert Dr Simon Berrow says. …
Kelp expert Dr KathrynSchoenrock
A leading specialist in the ecology of Irish kelp forests along the Atlantic coastline has been given an award by the Irish Research Council (IRC). NUI Galway marine ecologist Dr Kathryn Schoenrock has been given Early Career Researcher of the…
Book Your Virtual Place for IWDG’s Online ‘Whale Tales’ Conference
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s annual conference is moving online — and broadcasting live from West Clare next Saturday 12 December. Whale Tales is the annual meeting of the IWDG, where members and people interested in whales, dolphins and…
A feeding frenzy of dolphins off Fountainstown, Co Cork
Warm water anchovies and sprat are tempting pods of dolphins, fin whales and seabirds close to the south coast this week, with feeding frenzies reported in outer Cork harbour. An estimated 50 to 60 dolphins have been sighted by several…
The tail of a humpback whale, HBIRL55, spotted off Co Kerry earlier this year
Fáilte Ireland says it plans to capitalise on huge interest in dolphin and whale watching in Ireland in its future tourism marketing plans. The organisation’s chief executive Paul Kelly made the commitment as he addressed the Oireachtas Committee on Tourism…
Irish vessel Ocean Venture II landing into Dingle harbour, Co Kerry, where large quantities of warm water anchovies have appeared in the past week
Sea temperatures may seem bracing for swimmers, but shoals of warm water anchovies have appeared in large numbers off the south-west coast. “Astonishing” is how Kerry-based fish expert Dr Kevin Flannery describes the volume of tiny oily fish, widely used…
Alga gobbling up a live coral in Caribbean reefs
Coral reefs are under pressure from hurricanes, pollution, bleaching and global warming, and scientists have now confirmed the extent of the threat from an aggressive alga. The algae, known as peyssonnelid algal crusts (PAC), are colonising reefs in the Caribbean…
Dublin songwriter and musician Dan Fitzpatrick
Taking 20 minutes to listen to music inspired by five oceans is the focus of a new release by a Dublin songwriter and musician Dan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, also known as Badhands, combines acoustic and electronic instrumentation to reflect what he…
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…

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