Displaying items by tag: marine wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The first meeting of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) new local group for North Kerry takes place this Friday 9 December at the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre from 7.30pm to 9pm.
All are welcome to the evening’s talk by biologist Dr Marie Louis on her work on bottlenose dolphins in Ireland and internationally, followed by a meeting on setting up the new group.
The North Kerry group’s main focus is to get local people out experiencing and recording cetaceans and collecting data for the IWDG, as well as increasing membership numbers. Contact [email protected] for more information.
In other news, Conal O’Flanagan has been appointed to the IWDG’s board of directors, replacing regular Celtic Mist helm Karl Grabe.
O’Flanagan joined the IWDG soon after its formation in 1999 and was the first co-ordinator of its Constant Effort Sighting Scheme. The resident of North Co Dublin has previously been a director on the board and served as group treasurer.
While further research is required, recent studies at UCD indicate that some injuries previously attributed to boat propellers may be consistent with attacks on younger seals by older bulls.
Fishing activity is also suspected in some of the more than 100 carcasses recorded in the two years before May 2016 — particularly over the winter months in Waterford and Wexford, though there is no confirmed connection to the concurrent inshore fishery.
The sanctuary’s database relies on public contributions, with the largest number of seal carcasses reported in Dublin, followed by Cork, Wexford and Waterford.
In related news, the Dublin InQuirer reports on the uneasy relationship between dog walkers on Bull Island and the reserve’s resident seal colonies, which conservationists argue are often disturbed by pets running loose.
The 12-metre marine mammal, thought to be a sei whale or fin whale, was ushered back into deeper waters by a group surfing in the area on Sunday 27 November.
But locals are urged to keep a lookout over the next few days as the whale, believed to be injured or in poor health, is likely to strand again.
#MarineWildlife - A small Norwegian community in the Arctic Circle recently had a whale of a problem with their internet connection - literally.
As New Scientist reports, a subsea internet cable in the Kaldfjorden north of Tromsø which should have been 170m below the surface broke loose from the fjord bed and entangled one of its many humpback whale visitors for more than a day.
Believing at first that the marine giant was caught in fishing gear, rescuers discovered after finally freeing the whale that it had been caught in a data cable - hence the affectionate nickname ‘Hacker’.
New Scientist has more in the story HERE.
#MarineWildlife - The Wicklow People reports that a six-week-old common seal is being treated for suspected stab wounds after being found in “very shape” by people walking on Arklow’s South Beach yesterday morning (Friday 18 November).
The incident is the second in three weeks in the Arklow area to involve a seal with wounds thought to have been caused by human hands. More on this story HERE.
#MarineWildlife - Irish-made documentary The Humpback Whales of Cape Verde will be broadcast this Saturday 29 October at 7.15pm on TG4.
Narrated by Liam Ó Maonlaí and shot in Cape Verde, Ireland and Malta, the film follows Dr Simon Berrow of the the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) and an international team of marine scientists on an ambitious adventure to prove humpback whales from both the northern and southern hemispheres use the Cape Verde archipelago as a breeding ground.
“If we could make the connection, our understanding of humpback whale behaviour in the Atlantic would change,” says Dr Berrow. “Such a breeding ground would be unique. But going there in the first place at that time of year and at significant cost was a big if in itself.”
The lecturer at GMIT also believes the film will help highlight the importance of conservation in Irish waters.
“It still comes as a surprise to many that we have whales in Ireland,” he says. “In fact the numbers here are increasing each year and Ireland is becoming internationally important.
“To understand where whales in Ireland are coming from or going to and breeding is essential to protect them. This film is part of a 12-year search for the breeding grounds of humpback whales in Ireland.”
The broadcast on TG4 this weekend coincides with the 25th anniversary of all Irish waters being declared a whale and dolphin sanctuary, the first of its kind in Europe.
“It is an international story with an Irish perspective,” says director Tony Whelan. “It’s a cracking tale. Spending time with these scientists in an extraordinary environment was a privilege. We hope people enjoy it.
“We are really happy it has been taken up by TG4, an important channel for independent filmmakers. Without them stories like this can go unseen.”
The Humpback Whales of Cape Verde was screened around the country earlier this year as part of a library tour, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
“You never get them in the North Sea, so what it was doing there, we have no idea at the moment,” biologist Dr Ben Garrod told the newspaper.
#MarineWildlife - Independent.ie has video of a seal pup being rescued by quick-thinking beachgoers in Co Down this week.
Aaron McLoughlin realised he had no phone signal to call for assistance when he and his wife Gemma and her family found the young seal stranded on the sand.
So he and his father-in-law David Lamont improvised a sling to lift the juvenile marine mammal out of danger and back into the water, as you can see in the clip below:
#SomethingFishy - Pupils at Scoil Chroí Naofa in Bunninadden, Sligo have been named the national winners of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Something Fishy competition for 2016 at an event in Sligo’s Clarion Hotel yesterday (Wednesday 12 October).
The winning group of 24 children from the school’s senior class take home the National Something Fishy Award and €700 for their animated short on the life cycle of the salmon – selected by an independent judging panel comprising fisheries officers and education staff.
Along with their teacher Adrian Ormsby, the class edited and produced the digital and artistic photo story during the previous school term.
The ‘Something Fishy’ programme is an educational initiative of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in partnership with Blackrock Education Centre, which allows students to learn about fish and the environment in a local context.
The 2016 programme saw 3,776 children taking part in 118 schools and 11 education centres nationwide. Students were invited to submit project entries into the competition with this year’s entries addressing the theme ‘Focus on Learning’.
“The standard of entry to this year’s Something Fishy competition was particularly high and it is fantastic to have so many children engaged on our fisheries resource,” said IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne.
“Something Fishy gives children an opportunity to learn valuable lessons about the importance of protecting and conserving the aquatic environment but perhaps more importantly, they are also empowered to share their learnings with their peers via digital projects which can be enjoyed by all.”
Bernie Burke, principal of Scoil Chroí Naofa, described the win as “a fantastic achievement by the students involved who have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the programme.
“They have discovered the magical world within our waterways and enjoyed learning all about the aquatic environment. I would like to congratulate each of them and their teacher Mr Ormsby on all their hard work.”
Since the inception of Something Fishy in 2005, some 50,000 children have participated in the initiative which aims to promote interest and understanding in fish and their habitats.
As part of the educational programme, IFI fisheries officers visit schools and provide classroom-based assistance, with a full range of resources for teachers and children also available on the Something Fishy website.
Aside from school-based learning, fisheries officers take students into the field to give them some practical experience of their work.
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