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Displaying items by tag: Fungie

Dingle will host a special commemoration for Fungie the dolphin this month, as the Irish Independent reports.

Fungie took up residence in the Co Kerry harbour in 1983 and over the decades since formed the backbone of the town’s tourism-based economy.

But the bottlenose dolphin disappeared in mid October last year — and marine experts suggest he either died or relocated to waters where he’s yet to be traced.

One year on and a special commemoration day is planned in Dingle on Sunday 17 October to celebrate the dolphin who put the town on the map.

Free boat trips around the harbour entrance will be offered, with donations welcome to support Dingle Coast and Rescue and Mallow Search and Rescue.

“We want to celebrate the magic that Fungie brought to Dingle and to people from all over the world,” said local resident Jamie Flannery.

The Irish Independent has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Dingle’s boatmen have been hit hard by the double whammy of pandemic restrictions on the tourism trade and the disappearance of Fungie last autumn.

But as the Business Post reports, the boatmen of the Kerry Gaeltacht town have directed their ire at the Government for what they believe is a failure to support their industry — such as the absence of a freeze on harbour fees.

Dingle Sea Safari owner Jimmy Flannery says: “It looks like, once again, when it comes to the marine sector, they don’t give a damn.”

The Business Post has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has said it is “irresponsible to raise peoples' hopes” that a dolphin spotted off West Cork in recent days might be Dingle’s missing resident bottlenose, Fungie.

Cork Beo reported on Sunday (11 April) on video recorded off the Old Head of Kinsale of a playful solitary dolphin which has sparked optimism that Fungie has reappeared some six months since he vanished from Dingle Harbour, his home since 1983.

But the IWDG has moved to play down such hopes, reminding that bottlenose dolphins like Fungie “are abundant and widespread throughout Irish coastal waters”.

It added: “While the IWDG are surprised at this individual’s behaviour around the boat it was recently filmed from, it is way too early to speculate that this dolphin is Fungie.

“The IWDG have validated 13 sightings of bottlenose dolphins off the Irish coast already this month (April) from Co Kerry to Co Louth.”

The group is awaiting clearer images of the dolphin’s tail fluke or dorsal fin before it makes any confirmed identification.

“The IWDG feel it is irresponsible to raise peoples’ hopes that this might indeed be Fungie, while current evidence merely shows it to be a bottlenose dolphin behaving in an unexpected fashion,” it said.

It’s not the first video of a frolicking dolphin to cause a stir in recent weeks, as footage captured in Galway Bay last month raised hopes that Fungie had relocated along the West Coast.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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A video circulating online of a dolphin frolicking in Galway Bay is “extremely unlikely” to be the missing bottlenose Fungie, as the Irish Examiner reports.

The footage sparked hopes that Dingle’s famous long-term marine wildlife resident had reappeared nearly five months after his last sighting in the Co Kerry town.

But Nic Slocum of Whale Watch West Cork said that while it was impossible to be “absolutely sure”, there were enough indications that it was not the same animal as Fungie, with a smaller body and shorter beak.

“They both jump, and they both jump in that way. And I know everybody got a little bit excited because they thought it might be Fungie showing himself again,” Slocum said.

“From my perspective, I would say that it is extremely unlikely to be Fungie and far more likely to be a short beak common dolphin.”

The Irish Examiner has more on the store HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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As hopes fade of Fungie’s return to Dingle, research suggests that “missing” dolphins are more likely to have migrated than died.

Dolphins in the Shannon estuary which were initially presumed to have perished had in fact moved to nearby bays, according to research published by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

The study by Kim Ellen Ludwig of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) found that the “missing” dolphins had “emigrated” to Tralee and Brandon bays in Kerry, south of the Shannon estuary.

The Shannon estuary’s population of around 140 dolphins provided a good sample for the study, which Ms Ludwig conducted in collaboration with the IWDG.

The IWDG – a registered charity founded by Dr Simon Berrow in 1990 - has been monitoring the Shannon bottlenose dolphins since 1993. It constitutes the longest running whale or dolphin study in Ireland.

The group recently explored its 27-year old identification dataset to see if it could answer the question as to when to consider a dolphin as “dead” rather than missing.

Dolphins and whales are highly mobile, ranging thousands of kilometres.

Survival of young dolphins or calves is easier to monitor when they are dependent on their mothers for survival and is more difficult when calves are weaned.

The study with Ms Ludwig indicated that survival rate was 95.6% for “well-marked individual dolphins”- which means around 4.4% of adult dolphins die each year.

“For less well-marked individuals, survival increases to 5.8%, due to the higher chance a dolphin is “missed” during surveys,” it says.

The IWDG says that Ms Ludwig’s work highlights “a really important confounding factor, that of emigration outside the Shannon estuary to adjacent Tralee and Brandon bays”.

The dolphins had been presumed dead as these two bays are not routinely sampled during monitoring surveys.

Only by extending their surveys, did the IWDG realise that the dolphins were alive and well, and had extended their range.

Scientists with the IWDG are now recommending that the boundary of the lower river Shannon special area of conservation be extended to protect the important habitats of the bottlenose dolphins.

The group also suggests the area could be designated as a marine protected area as an alternative strategy.

In relation to Fungie, estimated to be 37 years old, the IWDG says that “as the time increases without a sighting and the search effort continues", it is "more likely" that he is dead rather than just simply missing.

However “his legacy will live on for years”, it says.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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“It’s better this way, rather than Fungie wash up dead on the shores of Dingle Bay, [that he] just disappear.”

That’s the message from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) chief executive as nearly two weeks have passed since Dingle’s longtime resident dolphin was last seen in the Co Kerry village.

Writing on the IWDG website, Dr Simon Berrow reminisces about his own encounters with the friendly bottlenose since his own arrival in the West of Ireland in 1988.

And he believes that Fungie has been an inspiration some of the millions who have witnessed him over the years to pursue further interests in marine matters.

But Dr Berrow is also brutally honest about the region’s over-reliance on the marine wildlife singleton as a draw for visitors.

“Building an international tourism product on a single dolphin was never going to last,” he says. “It was unsustainable.”

The IWDG website has more HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Everyone in Dingle - and beyond too, in a much wider world of shared joy in his existence - everyone knew that some day, it was going to happen. Some day, the sad but inevitable feeling was going to take hold and gradually be accepted that Fungie, the much–loved Dingle dolphin, has gone - and gone for good not just from Dingle, but from this world of ours.

For 37 years, his life-enchancing and charismatic presence has established a relationship between humans and a cetacean which has been seen elsewhere, but somehow never with the sheer intensity, transcendental delight and very Irish way that Fungi has made possible in Dingle Harbour. No-one who has ever experienced it will ever forget it. But now it may well be that memories are all we’ll have, and this new gem of reporting on RTE News from Sean Mac an tSithigh will speak from the heart for everyone who has met Fungie at his wonderful best.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Poor weather off the Kerry coast has put on hold the search for Fungie the dolphin who has been missing from his Dingle home for almost a week, according to the Guardian.

Yesterday, Sunday 18 October, RTÉ News reported that divers from Mallow Search and Rescue has joined the search to explore coves around Dingle Harbour amid growing concern for Fungie’s wellbeing.

The bottlenose dolphin has been resident in the village harbour since 1983, rarely straying far from its environs — and never for this length of time.

There was an unconfirmed report of a sighting last Thursday, as local fisherman Gary Hand suggested the marine wildlife favourite was feeding with other dolphins further out in Dingle Bay.

That’s one of the theories being shared by local boatmen — some of whom also suggest that the solitary Fungie may be in hiding from dolphin pods and whales encroaching on his usual inshore waters.

“There’s still hope,” said boatman Gary Brosnan. “If Fungie has died there’s a good chance we’d have found him in one of the inlets or caves. No news is good news.”

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Reports of the disappearance of Dingle’s resident dolphin Fungie this week appear to have been greatly exaggerated, as a cetacean matching his description was spotted by a local fisherman.

Paul Hand tells RTÉ News that he is “one thousand percent certain” the bottlenose dolphin that followed his boat into Dingle Bay yesterday (Thursday 15 October) was Fungie, who has made his home in the Co Kerry village since the early 1980s.

Fungie aroused some concern on Wednesday when he failed to appear as usual in the harbour, with unusual movements said to be “unlike him”.

But Hand suggests the dolphin has simply been following boats out into the bay and staying to feed and spend time with a pod of his own kind — following a lonely summer in the absence of the area’s usual tourist trade.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Dingle’s resident dolphin Fungie is one of the longest living solitary cetaceans in the world, according to a new report from wildlife experts.

The second edition of the Lone Rangers report identifies Fungie — who has been a fixture of Dingle in Co Kerry since 1984 — as the longest living solitary cetacean in European waters.

In the global list, Fungie is second only to Jojo, a fellow bottlenose dolphin of the Turks and Caicos Islands in the West Indies who has been dated back to 1980.

“Fungie is a very engaging dolphin who has become an international phenomenon with people travelling from near and far just to catch a sight of this enigmatic marine mammal”, said Marine Connection director Margaux Dodds, a co-author of the report.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020

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