Displaying items by tag: marine wildlife
#Jellyfish - Mauve jellyfish have stranded in what could be record numbers in Co Clare.
Thousands of the species Pelagia noctiluca, also known as the mauve stinger, have beached at Fanore since last Friday (30 September) as photographed by local man Liam McNamara.
"This is the first time I've experienced mauve jellyfish in such numbers and I've been beachcombing for 40 years,” McNamara told Independent.ie.
"I'm not sure what's going on with our seas but definitely lots more jellies around.”
The surprising incident comes just days after hundreds of Portuguese man o’ wars began stranding at coastal spots along the Wild Atlantic Way between Kerry and Donegal in what’s thought to be the largest infestation in over a century.
Irish Water Safety says unusually warm sea temperatures have brought what are typically tropical species in droves to Irish waters.
A member of the public who was on scene had tried to assist the dolphin back to sea, but when they were unable to do so they alerted the Ballycotton lifeboat.
Ballycotton’s inshore lifeboat and its volunteer crew were quickly on scene, with the all-weather lifeboat on standby due to the offshore breeze and calm weather conditions.
Upon arrival, coxswain Eolan Walsh entered the water, guided the marine mammal into deeper water and shepherded it back out to sea.
Speaking after the callout, Walsh said: “Similar to a previous launch last summer, this dolphin appeared to be quite young and may have been separated from its pod.
“We would like to commend the member of the public who assisted the dolphin initially. We were happy to help and bring the dolphin into deeper waters.”
TheJournal.ie yesterday reported that as many as 15 of the toxic sea organisms that resemble jellyfish had been spotted on various beaches in Co Mayo and Co Clare.
Further sightings have been made along the Wild Atlantic Way as far south as Co Kerry and as far north as Donegal, according to The Irish Times, which carries Dr Tom Doyle’s warning for the public to steer clear of any specimens they might discover washed up on the shore.
The marine biologist with NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute emphasised that the creatures harbour seriously painful stings in their blue tentacles that have even killed three people worldwide.
When Neil Bates spotted the 3m whale at Ballyteige Burrow and saw its blowhole move, he enlisted two other local men, John and Michael O'Flahery, to help refloat the animal.
And while it was it some distress for a time, it was soon out of the shallows and swimming in the direction of Hook Head.
#OceanWarming - Warming oceans are not only throwing marine ecosystems into disarray, but are also encouraging the spread of water-borne bacteria and viruses around the world, a new study warns.
The Irish Examiner reports on new findings from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which says the world is "completely unprepared" for the consequences of ocean warming, which have already been seen as fish and marine mammal species move into cooler northern waters.
Coming in their wake, however, are tropical pathogens such as Vibrio vulnificus, related to the cholera bacteria, and potentially toxic algal blooms that could enter the food chain – comprising what scientists are calling the "greatest hidden challenge of our generation".
Rising sea temperatures are already wreaking havoc on corals off East Africa in the Indian Ocean, and affecting the breeding success of seabirds, ocean reptiles, jellyfish and plankton – the foodstuff of large baleen whales and basking sharks, which frequent Irish shores.
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.
#MarineWildlife - Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has warned the public to stay away from the carcass of a minke whale that has washed up on Killiney Beach.
According to TheJournal.ie, the carcass of the 13m female minke whale was seen floating off Greystones yesterday and Shankill earlier today (Friday 19 August).
In what's an unusual occurrence for the East Coast, the carcass has washed up on a rocky stretch made even more treacherous by high spring tides – and it may also pose a risk of infection to curious beachgoers.
Visitors staying at Doonaha's Green Acres caravan park used buckets of water to keep the mother and calf wet and tarps to help lift them into deeper waters off the rocky shore before a team from Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation arrived.
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has reiterated the need for localised stranding plans after the death of two common dolphins that stranded in Mayo's Blacksod Bay in late July.
Aoife Foley of the IWDG writes that the two dolphins were part of a pod of five that were spotted close to the shore at Mullaghroe Beach on Saturday 23 July.
A team from the Broadhaven Bay Marine Mammal Monitoring Programme joined local marine biologist Machiel Oudejans to move the dolphins, which did not appear to be injured or in obviously poor health, back into deeper waters and out to sea.
However, the following afternoon a member of the programme team saw that two of the marine mammals had stranded on the same stretch of beach, which Foley says is "notorious for common dolphin strandings in Blacksod Bay".
Despite best efforts, by Tuesday 26 July one of the animals had died and the other had to be put down by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The IWDG has more on the story HERE.
Local birdwatchers have been observing the young white tailed eagle since it left its nest on Garnish Island in Bantry Bay a fortnight ago.
The fledgling marks the first success for the seabird species in the county since a number of Norwegian birds were released in Killarney as part of a sea eagle reintroduction programme between 2007 and 2011.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
The carcasses of three juvenile minkes have been spotted in the region since April, comprising 25% of all Irish minke whale standings since records began in 2000.
A fourth whale carcass was found on the shore at Killough in Co Down last week, according to BBC News.
But no one seems to know the reasons for these marine wildlife deaths, with the lack of a post-mortem scheme for whale strandings making matters even cloudier.
Yet while the species is a regular visitor to the Blasket Islands and environs, O'Connell says it's "very unusual to have so many dead ones in the one small area, in the space of 10 or 12 weeks."
The same region also saw a number of unsubstantiated dolphin deaths in recent weeks, which one fishery expert suggested might be connected with the presence of so-called 'supertrawlers' fishing in the area.
Similar concerns were raised earlier in the year when a spike in common dolphin standings, primarily in the North West – totalling 28 for January and February alone – coincided with reports of supertrawler activity off the Dongeal, Sligo and Mayo coasts.