Displaying items by tag: marine wildlife
The two seal pups were found in an emaciated and malnourished state by a beach walker on 27 November.
According to Irish Whale and Dolphin Group chair Kevin MacCormick, dead seal strandings are not unusual at this time of year, particularly after stormy weather, and grey seals have an especially high mortality rate.
Tramua wounds and blood found on the seals were put down to predation by seabirds.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - A harbour seal pup found in a serious condition in Balbriggan last week is new recovering in the care of the Irish Seal Sanctuary.
Colin, as he has been named by ISS volunteers, was discovered on Kings Beach suffering from blood loss and breathing problems, the Fingal Independent reports.
An ISS spokesperson remarked that it was "very unusual" to find harbour seal pups this late in the year, and in an area dominated by colonies of grey seals.
Thanks to medicine donated by the Dogs Aid veterinary clinic in north Dublin, Colin is now "making great progress" though full recovery will take some time.
The seal pup will remain in the care of the ISS until he is fit enough to be returned to Balbriggan for release.
#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.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - Some 14 Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea are among the network of planned marine wildlife sanctuaries around the UK that has been postponed.
The Liverpool Echo reports that the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has shelved plans to create the conservation areas by the end of 2012 after pressure from "groups that use the coastline frequently including fishermen, yachting enthusiasts and seaside villagers".
There will now be a six-month delay while and impact assessment on the network of well over 100 proposed sites is presented to the British government.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, conservation groups have raised concerns that fewer than a quarter of the proposed sites around the UK will receive official protection.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - Conservationists in the UK have voiced their concern that Westminster will enact fewer than a quarter of the proposed Marine Conservation Zones in British waters.
The Press Association reports that some 127 such zones - including parts of the Irish Sea - have been earmarked by regional conservation groups as areas requiring special environmental protection.
All 127 proposals were reviewed by an independent panel of scientists and government committees before they were to go on public consultation.
But it is now feared that a mere 23 of the total will get the go-ahead, due to a perceived lack of evidence to support the case for the rest.
"To only designate 23 marine conservation zones is equivalent to switching off the life support for our seas," commented Joan Edwards of the Wildlife Trusts.
The Press Association has more on the story HERE.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - A stranded dolphin was rescued at Duncannon on Monday last week, the New Ross Standard reports.
After being spotted by a member of Fethard-on-Sea RNLI, the dolphin was aided by the lifeboat crew, with advice from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.
The juvenile dolphin, who appeared to show no distress from the incident, was taken out to see and released in deep water off Templetown strand.
A spokesperson for Fethard-on-Sea RNLI said the crew were "'especially pleased to have undertaken such a rescue mission with a successful outcome".
#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Evening Herald has highlighted the work of a new union of wildlife protection groups which is training volunteers to act the event of serious environmental threats to Ireland's sea bird population.
Wildlife rescue volunteer Pauline Beades from Garristown in north Co Dublin has been working with Ireland's animal groups to change the official approach to wildlife - particularly birds - that get caught in oil spills.
The Irish Seal Sanctuary, Birdwatch Ireland, the ISPCA, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), Coastwatch and Irish Wildlife Trust have written a joint "letter of comfort" for the Irish Coast Guard, which is the State body charged with dealing with coastal oil spills.
The groups have pledged to work together in the event of any oil spill that involves a threat to marine wildlife.
Their response plan involves an initial wave of volunteers walking beaches to gather affected animals and providing first aid, followed by transfering them to veterinarians in specialised field hospitals, as well as facilities for longer-term care.
Recently Beades helped train volunteers in Limerick, who also attended lectures and demonstrations from visiting wildlife rescue experts from Europe to prepare for any potential sea-borne wildlife emergency.
#TALL SHIPS - RTÉ News reports that the Celtic Mist is finally in dry dock for refurbishment to begin its new life as a maritime research vessel.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 52-foot yacht - which was gifted by the Haughey family to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) to assist in its marine wildlife conservation work - relocated to its new berth at Kilrush, Co Clare in July.
This followed its last jaunt at sea earlier this year, completing a leg of the Tall Ships Races from Waterford to Greenock.
The cost of refurbishing the yacht for research and training purposes is expected to top €60,000, with an annual running cost of some €20,000, for which the IWDG is seeking ongoing financial assistance.
The group aims to get the Celtic Mist back at sea before next summer.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - A rare leatherback turtle washed up in Cumbria could be a sign that the Irish Sea is hiding an unknown bounty of marine wildlife.
The Cumbria Wildlife Trust told The Westmoreland Gazette that the find reinforces calls for the Irish Sea region to be designated as a Marine Conservation Zone.
Leatherback turtles are on the critically endangered list, and face any number of threats, from injury by boat propellors, to drowning in fishing nets below the surface.
The green waters of the Irish Sea are a big attraction to leatherback turtles and species from the Caribbean and other far-away climbs due to their abundance of food.
The Westmoreland Gazette has more on the story HERE.
Experts in the United States are investigating the possibility of a disease outbeak as the number of dead seals found on New England beaches continues to grow.
The Gloucester Times in Massachusetts reports that some 128 harbour seals have been found deceased this year along the coastline from Massachusetts to Maine.
Initial results from post-mortems carried out on 10 harbour seals washed up in northern Massachusetts indicate no direct human involvement, and also ruled out physical attacks or effects of fishing.
All the dead seals are reportedly young and healthy, with enough body fat to rule out starvation.
"We have collected biological samples and are looking at potential biological toxins," said a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "At this point we aren't ruling anything out."