Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Marine Wildlife
Fin Whales and 'Clet' The Dolphin Make West Cork A Summer Cetacean Hotspot
#MarineWildlife - Late summer brings fin whales flocking to West Cork in big numbers, with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group estimating at least 20 of the second-largest ocean species sighted between Seven Heads and Galley Head. Indeed, as IWDG…
Jellyfish Pose Threat To Irish Beachgoers
#MarineWildlife - As if this week's warnings against swimming at 12 North Co Dublin beaches weren't enough, The Irish Times brings news of sightings of the dreaded Portuguese man o'war among other stinging sea creatures flocking to Ireland's warmer waters.…
Young Seal Goes Surfing Off North Sea Coast
#MarineWildlife - This surfing duo off Amble in Northumberland had a surprise partner join in the action, and captured it all on video! As the clip above shows, the young seal comes out of nowhere as Matt Stanley and Andrew…
Irish Air Corps Captures Video Of Breaching Fin Whale
#MarineWildlife - Check out this wonderful video captured by the Irish Air Corps earlier this week featuring the uncommon sight of a fin whale breaching some 150 miles off Mizen Head in West Cork. Fin whales, the second largest of…
Ireland's Coasts Are Waiting For Summer Whale Spotters
#MarineWildlife - Though the winter months comprise Ireland's major whale-watching season, this time of year brings more people to the coasts to witness Ireland's bounty of marine wildlife. And if you're not sure where to look, has a guide…
Record Year for Rare Seabird on Wicklow Beach
#terns – 2014 has been the best breeding year on record for one of Ireland's rarest seabirds, the little tern. The County Wicklow birds are protected and enjoy 24–hour monitoring because for many years they were a species on the…
Humpback Whales Liven Up NI's National Marine Week
#MarineWildlife - Northern Ireland's National Marine Week kicks off today (Saturday 26 July) with a 'rockpool ramble' at Groomsport in Co Down, the first in a series of marine wildlife themed events around the coast till 10 August. Ulster Wildlife’s…
Dusty The Dolphin Makes Herself At Home Near Inis Oírr
#MarineWildlife - Dusty the dolphin has found a new home at Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands, prompting a local campaign to warn locals and visitors alike of the potential dangers of swimming with the unpredictable cetacean. Previously known as…
Locals Defy Advice To Refloat Two Whales From Donegal Beach
#MarineWildlife - Two of the stranded pilot whales at Falcarragh in Co Donegal have been refloated by locals against advice to leave them alone to die naturally. According to RTÉ News, the public was warned away from the strand -…
Stranded Pilot Whales Being Left To Die Naturally
#MarineWildlife - More sad news from Ballyness Beach in Falcarragh this morning (8 July) as RTÉ News reports that all but one of the whales returned to the water after yesterday's mass beaching have stranded again and are being left…
Five Pilot Whales Dead On Donegal Beach After Mass Stranding
#MarineWildlife - RTÉ News reports on the deaths of five pilot whales in a 13-strong pod that beached in Donegal this morning (Monday 7 July). Despite valiant efforts by locals, four of the whales stranded Ballyness Beach in Falcarragh were…
Galway Gardaí Come To The Rescue of Stranded Baby Seal
#MarineWildlife - Gardaí in Galway were on hand to rescue a stranded baby seal at Weightman's Pier in the city on Friday 4 July. As reports, gardaí said the young seal, estimated to be four weeks old, was found…
White Tailed Sea Eagles Viewing Point Opens on Lough Derg
#seaeagle – It is now possible to observe one of the first White Tailed Sea Eagles born in Ireland in over a century courtesy of a new marine wildlife viewing and Iinformation point that has been officially opened on the…
Sydney Surfers Get Too Close To Large Whale For Comfort
#MarineWildlife - Surfers in Sydney's Freshwater Bay have been accused of harassing a large whale that came close to the shore at the weekend. The southern right whale, believed to be a female searching for a quiet place to calf,…
Stranded 'Whale' Perishes In Tralee Bay Shallows
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Examiner reports that a six-metre cetacean that prompted a mass rescue effort when it beached in Ballyheigue in Co Kerry earlier this week has died in the shallows. The marine mammal, as yet unidentified but thought…
Dragonfish Discovery in River Suck Highlights Danger of Illegal Aquarium Releases to Native Wildlife
#marinewildlife – The recent discovery by a local angler of the decaying remains of an exotic fish specimen in the River Suck at Correen Ford in the Midlands has raised further concern of the threat to our native wildlife from…

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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