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Displaying items by tag: Whales

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will host the 26th annual European Cetacean Society Conference in Galway on the weekend of 24-25 March this year.

The Galway Bay Hotel will be the site for the main conference sessions, while workshops will also be held at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).

This year's gathering is being held under the theme 'Communication: Information and Ideas Worth Sharing'. Participants will be exploring communication between marine mammals as well as between marine scientists, and between scientists and the public.

As Ireland's Wildlife reports, the conference "offers a offers a great opportunity to find out more about whales and dolphins, their conservation, the cetacean research being carried out in Europe and to meet the researchers who are working to uncover the mysteries of these most enigmatic of creatures."

Registration is now open for the two-day event. For full details of the conference programme, venues and booking information, visit the European Cetacean Society Conference micro site HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says 2011 was a record year for whale and dolphin strandings, according to The Irish Times.

IWDG co-ordinator Dr Simon Berrow confirmed a total of 160 strandings reported by year's end.

"This is by far the highest total for the number of stranding records and the third highest total for sighting records since the IWDG recording schemes were established in 1991," he said.

The 2011 record compares to a figure of 92 stranded cetaceans in 2010 - a number much lower than previous years.

Dr Berrow explained to BBC News: "The figures for 2010 were very low, and, we think, this was due to the easterly winds that year. But now we are back up to the kind of level we expect."

Stranding records in 2011 were characterised by a very high peak of common dolphin strandings during February and a high number of porpoise strandings during the winter.

Meanwhile, Dr Berrow considered the latest sightings record "very impressive" given the exceptionally poor sea conditions during autumn and winter.

More than 1,500 whale and dolphin sightings were made in 2011 around the entire coastline of Ireland despite the bad weather.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Three whales and a dolphin were found beached over the past few days along Ireland's west coast, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group confirmed that reports had been received of a bottlenose whale on White Strand in Co Clare, a pilot whale on Fintra Beach in Co Donegal and a dolphin in Silverstrand, Co Galway - all found dead.

The latest find was a male sperm whale stranded on Omey Island in Co Galway, shed of its skin and with a broken lower jaw.

"Chances are it died offshore and got washed in with the wind," said Berrow.

The IWDG said such strandings were relatively common, although as reported on Afloat.ie earlier this year there has been growing concern over the rising number of dolphin deaths along the south coast in particular.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Sligo County Council is considering its options for disposal after the county's second whale stranding of the winter, when a 60ft male fin whale was beached at Agharrow.

A spokesperson told the Sligo Champion that the whale was in an area known locally as Staid Abbey, lying on a smooth rock ledge that slopes down towards the sea, and is a difficult point to access - particularly in the present stormy conditions.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a whale carcass was washed up at the end of last month not far from Agharrow at Raughley. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has confirmed that this was the first validated stranding recorded of a fin whale in Co Sligo.

That whale had its flesh removed for fertiliser, while its bones were studied by PhD students from NUI Galway ahead of being buried in a nearby field to allow for the natural decomposition of remaining flesh before future preservation.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Some 46 reports of stranded whales and dolphins in Northern Ireland are among the thousands recorded across the UK over the last six years, according to BBC News.

A new study co-ordinated by the Zoological Socoety of London (ZSL) shows that some 3,500 cetaceans were stranded on the British coastline between 2005 and 2010.

Though year-on-year figures have fallen overall, is presumed that many more strandings have gone undetected.

Many were found to have died of disease or starvation – particular harbour dolphins.

But human activity such as fishing, shipping and chemical pollution also poses a significant threat to marine wildlife in the waters around the British Isles, said Rob Deaville of the ZSL.

The public is being encouraged to report stranded marine mammals to help create a more accurate picture.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#TOURISM - Winter might be upon us, but it's a great time to plan a new year holiday in Ireland on the sea, according to the UK's Daily Echo.

From night-time paddling in with renowned kayaking instructor Jim Kennedy, to snorkelling in Baltimore, relaxing in Skibbereen and and fresh seafood lunches in Kinsale, a vacation in Cork can appeal to any taste.

Whale and dolphin watching is a big draw for the region, too, as Ireland's coast – the first cetacean sanctuary in Europe - plays host to a growing variety of species.

The summer feeding grounds off the southern coast are particularly busy, and tourist boats are often treated to whales breaching the surface and surrounded by dolphins putting on a show.

The Daily Echo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Enniscorthy Guardian reports that the fin whales that have been sighted off Tramore in recent weeks may soon make their way towards the Wexford coast.

Afloat.ie recently reported that Waterford was the 'best place to be' for whale watching, with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) confirming fin whale sightings along a 20-mile stretch from Stradbally to Brownstone Head.

Cetacean fans are being advised to keep an eye on the coast from Hook Head to Brownstown headland to catch a glimpse of the fins, which are renowned for their six-foot whale blow.

Whale watchers are also urged to report any sightings to the IWDG online at www.iwdg.ie to help keep its database up to date.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Irish Independent reports on the carcass of a whale that was strewn on a beach in Co Sligo after it was swept into rocks by Monday's gale-force winds.

The 13-metre fin whale had been seen recently on a number of occasions in Lough Hyne, a saltwater lake near Baltimore in Co Cork.

On Monday it was spotted at Raughley in the north of Sligo, where it was found beached by Jimmy and Viera Stupakova after the treacherous conditions of the early part of this week.

The find marks the fifth recorded stranding of the species in Irish waters, and the first validated record of a fin whale in Co Sligo, according to OutdoorCommunity.ie.

It is not yet clear how the juvenile met its end, though initial investigations point to the whale not being long dead.

The Irish Independent has more on the story, including video, HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
#MARINE WILDLIFE - Last Tuesday heralded an incredible eight whale sighting reports off the Waterford coast, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
Sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley writes that most of the sightings have been confirmed to be fin whales, spotted close to the shore along a 20-mile stretch from Stradbally to Brownstone Head.
"For anyone interested in viewing the planet's second largest animal, clearly Co Waterford is still the place to be," he says.
But West Cork is also a hotspot for whale sightings, as BBC Autumnwatch's recent filming in the area with the IWDG illustrates.
It's expected that the large whale season will extend into February next year.
The IWDG has more on the story HERE.

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Last Tuesday heralded an incredible eight whale sighting reports off the Waterford coast, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

Sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley writes that most of the sightings have been confirmed to be fin whales, spotted close to the shore along a 20-mile stretch from Stradbally to Brownstone Head.

"For anyone interested in viewing the planet's second largest animal, clearly Co Waterford is still the place to be," he says.

But West Cork is also a hotspot for whale sightings, as BBC Autumnwatch's recent filming in the area with the IWDG illustrates.

It's expected that the large whale season will extend into February next year.

The IWDG has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
#MARINE WILDLIFE - "Until a mere couple of decades ago, virtually all we knew of the variety and distribution of the whales and dolphins around Ireland was judged from the catches of a short-lived Norwegian whaling station in north Co Mayo in the early 20th century and years of random recording."
So writes Michael Viney in last Saturday's Irish Times, as he welcomes the 21th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
"It can celebrate magnificent achievements," he writes, "both in turning so many Irish eyes seaward and in launching a new chapter in the island’s natural history."
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the IWDG will be hosting its 21st anniversary banquet at the Grand Hotel in Malahide this Saturday.
Over the past two decades, it has grown from its core work of creating a proper record of stranded cetaceans, to cataloguing the diverse array of living whales and dolphins that populate Ireland's waters today, adding "new knowledge" of "international interest" every year.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

#MARINE WILDLIFE - "Until a mere couple of decades ago, virtually all we knew of the variety and distribution of the whales and dolphins around Ireland was judged from the catches of a short-lived Norwegian whaling station in north Co Mayo in the early 20th century and years of random recording..."

So writes Michael Viney in last Saturday's Irish Times, as he welcomes the 21th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

"It can celebrate magnificent achievements," he writes, "both in turning so many Irish eyes seaward and in launching a new chapter in the island’s natural history."

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the IWDG will be hosting its 21st anniversary banquet at the Grand Hotel in Malahide this Saturday.

Over the past two decades, it has grown from its core work of creating a proper record of stranded cetaceans, to cataloguing the diverse array of living whales and dolphins that populate Ireland's waters today, adding "new knowledge" of "international interest" every year.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Page 5 of 7

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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