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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Marine Wildlife
Two of the bottlenose whales that died in the mass stranding on Rossnowlagh Beach last week
One of the victims of a deadly mass stranding of bottlenose whales in Donegal last week has not reappeared, according to Highland Radio. Seven of the marine mammals died in the biggest mass stranding of its kind on record in…
Barnacle Geese
110 years ago Robert Lloyd Praeger brought a group of eminent European scientists to Clare Island to map the flora, fauna, geology and archaeology of the small, exposed Atlantic island off the coast of Mayo. The Royal Irish Academy’s New…
Fenit lifeboat volunteers come to the aid of the solitary dolphin
It was a most unusual callout for Fenit RNLI yesterday evening (Tuesday 25 August) as they were tasked to a dolphin in the shallows near Fenit Pier in Co Kerry. Locals out for a stroll in blustery conditions that trailed…
The chub caught from the River Inny by fisheries staff this past June
Invasive chub have been confirmed in the River Inny in Longford, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). A single fish was caught on rod and line at one of a number of spots where IFI staff recorded possible sightings following…
Two of the stranded bottlenose whales that died on Rossnowlagh beach last Wednesday
The Army could be employed to euthanise beached whales and other marine wildlife that have no prospect of being refloated, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group suggests in its draft protocol. As the Irish Independent reports, the proposal is part…
A consultation process has been launched concerning our Marine Protected Areas
A government department has announced a consultation process for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) which will be open until 18 September. As the GreenNews.ie writes, the announcement by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage is in line with the…
Two of the stranded bottlenose whales that died on Rossnowlagh beach on Wednesday
Seven northern bottlenose whales have died in what’s been described as the largest mass stranding of its kind in Ireland. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) confirmed the deaths to RTÉ News after the incident was reported on Rossnowlagh…
A previous sighting of humpback whale HBIRL55 off Kerry
Whale watchers off the Kerry coast have been gifted a treat with a “feeding frenzy” of humpback whales near the Dingle Peninsula, as RTÉ News reports. As many as 12 of the marine wildlife giants have spent more than a…
The large whale skeletons suspended from the roof of the National Museum of Ireland - Natural History
The giant whale skeletons of Dublin’s ‘Dead Zoo’ are being dismantled as part of a €15 million project to upgrade the building, as RTÉ News reports. The remains of a fin whale recovered from Bantry Bay and a juvenile humpback…
File image of a minke whale seen off West Cork
A sea angler got more than he bargained for last week when he was thrown from his boat by a whale while fishing off West Cork. As CorkBeo reports, Cris Lane was angling with friend Dave McCann off Courmacsherry last…
The freshwater amphipod, Gammarus duebeni, is able to fragment microplastics
Small freshwater animals are breaking down microplastics into nanoplastic fragments which can enter the food chain, according to new research by University College Cork (UCC). In less than four days, the freshwater amphipod, Gammarus duebeni, is able to fragment microplastics…
#HBIRL100 photographed in Dingle Bay, Co Kerry last Monday 20 July
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has celebrated a milestone with the confirmation of the 100th and 101st individual humpback whales in its catalogue of Ireland’s waters. The sightings were made last Monday 20 July by Nick Massett in outer…
Waterford estuary – permission has been quashed to dredge for razor shells
Coastwatch has welcomed a High Court decision closing the Waterford estuary to razor shell dredging without proper environmental assessment. The ruling has implications for fishing activity on marine sites which are designated as Natura 2000 locations, Coastwatch director Karin Dubksy…
The lion’s mane jellyfish is also known as the giant jellyfish or hair jelly
Beachgoers on the East Coast beware: lion’s mane jellyfish have been sighted in the waters off North Dublin, as DublinLive reports. The venomous marine wildlife — which has previously prompted warnings for Dublin beaches — was recently spotted at Dollymount…
The solitary dolphin has been sighted at Greenore and Carlingford after taking up residence in recent weeks
Ireland has a new resident dolphin, as a solitary bottlenose seems to have made its home in Carlingford Lough — and locals have voted to name it ‘Finn’. Nearly 3,000 people took part in the Facebook poll in which Finn…
An adult male brown booby at flight; a bird like this one landed in Greystones earlier this week
Bangor Marina is not the only spot on the island of Ireland that welcomed an unusual winged visitor this week – as locals in Greystones were treated to the sight of a sea bird usually found in the tropical Atlantic. As…

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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