Displaying items by tag: Whales
A near-60ft long whale stranded on a beach in Scotland's Western Isles last week has died.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the whale was discovered on South Uist last Monday afternoon.
Despite the best efforts of rescue volunteers from British Divers Marine Life Rescue, the two-tonne creature - believed to be a sei or fin whale - could not be refloated.
Sadly, euthanasia was also ruled out as an option because of the side of the animal.
Death was pronounced on Tuesday, and a post-mortem will now be carried out to find out what may have caused the whale to beach itself.
The stranding comes after two serious incidents in Scotland earlier this year.
A previously reported on Afloat.ie, 25 pilot whales died after a mass stranding at the Kyle of Durness in July, while May saw a lucky escape for another pod of pilot whales at Loch Carman in South Uist.
This time last year 33 pilot whales from a group that almost stranded in Loch Carman were found dead on a beach in Donegal.
All are invited to take part in the All-Ireland Whale Watch Day next Sunday 21 August.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is organising 13 land-based whale watches from headlands around the Irish coast on the day from 2pm-5pm as part of the Heritage Council's annual Heritage Week.
Each will be led by experienced IWDG personnel, who will show you how to observe and identify some of the more commonly observed large marine wildlife seen in Irish waters.
The watches are free to attend - all that is required is to bring binoculars or a spotting scope, and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions.
The purpose of day is to raise awareness of the 24 species of cetaceans (porpoises, dolphins and whales) that can be seen around the Irish coast. The event will also provide IWDG researchers with a unique snapshot of whale and dolphin activity in Irish waters.
For details on your nearest whale watch visit the IWDG Whale Watch Ireland website.
Forty-four stranded pilot whales have been returned to open water after a mass beaching in the Scottish Highlands, The Independent reports.
Medics from British Divers Marine Life Rescue joined the coastguard and navy working through the night to right whales that stranded on their sides or backs, or on top of each other, before the morning tide.
Sadly 25 whales from the pod died at the Kyle of Durness, a tragic echo of last autumn's mass stranding in Donegal, where 33 whales were lost.
The Independent has more on the story HERE.
A mature student from the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology is taking part in the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's Ship Surveys Programme.
Irish Weather Online reports that Enda McKeogh is on board the Marine Institute's research vessel Celtic Explorer off the west coast of Scotland, where he has already made a number of sightings of whales and dolphins.
He said: "I expected to be sea sick most of the time and not to see many cetaceans but this has proven not to be the case so far."
McKeogh is recording is sightings in a diary on the IWDG website HERE.
Today's Irish Times recounts a day in the life of whale watch operator Nic Slocum.
Originally from the UK, Slocum traded tiring commutes to London for the peaceful life of sailing in west Cork 10 years ago, and shortly after turned his hobby into a new business by running whale watching excursions.
"We don’t promise whales and dolphins every time because they are unpredictable creatures," says the Whale Watch West Cork proprietor, "but for anyone interested in wildlife, there is an abundance of things to see. The marine coast is spectacularly beautiful here."
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
Fastnet Line which runs the Cork-Swansea port route on the Celtic Sea, is assisting the charity MarineLife to monitor cetaceans, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The work of MarineLife is to survey the population trends and track the movements of dolphins, whales, porpoises and other wildlife. The research is undertaken onboard Fastnet Line's Julia (1981/21,699grt) and access to the ferry is provided free-of-charge to the wildlife-based charity.
During the months of July and August the ferry's schedule will allow for further opportunities to conduct daylight sightings of marine-life which is to be posted on MarineLife and Fastnet Line websites.
Adrian Shephard, Chairman of MarineLife Trustees, said: "The route from Swansea to Cork crosses a range of marine habitats and we hope it will generate many sightings of cetaceans and seabirds, including two important species we monitor, the white-beaked dolphin and the balearic shearwater".
In addition monitors recently observed fin whales, the second largest whale on the planet. Such sightings provide vital information and this will contribute to a better understanding of the distribution of cetaceans and other marine life in the Celtic Sea. To read more www.marine-life.org.uk
The first of four summertime surveys is to take place on 10 July. Overall the research by MarineLife is part of a larger project which also involves the use of other ferries operating in the Irish Sea and those serving on UK continental routes.
The 1,500 passenger / 325 car-carrying Julia sails year-round six times a week between September to June and from next month and during August the vessel will provide eight sailings per week. For fares and sailings schedules contact www.fastnetline.com
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is on alert as a pod of pilot whales that narrowly avoided a mass stranding in Scotland heads south towards Ireland.
The situation has prompted fears of a repeat of last year's tragic beaching of 33 whales on an island off the Donegal coast.
Simon Berrow of the IWDG told The Guardian: "We're on standby to see if the pilot whales come to Ireland, and we're getting regular updates from our colleagues in the UK. So we're watching and waiting."
The Guardian has more on the story HERE.
Rescuers reports that a pod of around 60 pilot whales at risk of beaching in shallow waters off Scotland's Western Isles appear to be out of danger.
According to The Guardian, the whale pod alarmed conservationists by swmming into Loch Carnan in a remote part of South Uist last Thursday.
The whales have since moved into open water heading south, but Dave Jarvis of British Divers Marine Life Rescue said they were not yet in the clear, as the rocky coastline hosts a number of inlets and bays that could present dangers to the pod.
Some of the whales have injuries to their heads which are believed to be caused by striking the loch's jagged shoreline.
The Guardian has more on the story HERE.
Basking sharks have dominated recent sightings of large marine wildlife, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
The largest shark species in Irish waters accounted for a whopping 43% of sightings submitted to the IWDG's ISCOPE database between 22 April and 1 May.
Other marine species spotted include minke whales (14%), bottlenose dolphins (10%) and sperm whales (2.5%).
April's unseasonably warm weather and calmer seas brought more people out to the water, which may account for this rise in figures.
Ireland's Wildlife has more on the story HERE.
Fáilte Ireland has come under fire for an advert that shows a whale that cannot be found in Irish waters.
According to the Irish Examiner, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has questioned by images of humpback or fin whales, which are a common sight off Ireland's coast, were not used instead.
The IWDG'sSimon Berrow said: "It’s great that we are promoting marine tourism but if we are serious about it, let’s do it properly."
Last year Fáilte Ireland was criticised for a similar advertisement that used stock footage of a whale species not found in Ireland.
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.