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Marine Wildlife
Ireland is being represented at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan
The Fair Seas campaign has welcomed Ireland’s contribution of almost 10 million euro to address ocean challenges faced by developing countries, including small island developing states. The funding was confirmed earlier this week by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney…
False Bay in County Galway
The European Commission is proposing to set legally binding nature restoration targets on both sea and land. The Nature Restoration Law will apply to every EU member state and will complement existing laws and targets. The proposal has been welcomed…
The sixth-century monastic site is an internationally important habitat for seabirds
Birdwatch Ireland has expressed concern about the potential impacts of safety measures being taken on Skellig Michael, following last week’s rockfall which led to the temporary closure of the UNESCO world heritage site. The independent bird conservation organisation said it…
File image of Simon Coveney
Planned French military exercises near Irish waters have been halted, the Foreign Affairs Minister has confirmed. But as TheJournal.ie reports, Simon Coveney stopped short of declaring the drills cancelled outright or merely postponed, telling the Dáil today (Thursday 23 June)…
Patrick Murphy, chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation
French military exercises near Irish waters which began yesterday (Tuesday 21 June) could have a significant impact on marine wildlife, says a marine group that’s called for a halt to the manoeuvres. The exercises, which are taking place over a…
Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan
Draft legislation to designate almost a third of Ireland’s waters as marine protected areas (MPAs) is “almost completed”, the Heritage Minister has said. Minister Malcolm Noonan told the Irish Examiner last week that his department would meet “shortly” with Fair…
MEP for Ireland South Grace O'Sullivan
As the United Nations gears up for a landmark conference later this month in Lisbon on ocean protection and conservation, World Oceans Day today (8 June 2022) marks what could be a crucial turning point in our relationship with the…
Seapoint Marram Grass Planting in Co Louth in May 2022
Thousands of volunteers answered Clean Coasts and National Spring Clean joint call-to-action to organise a clean-up to protect our ocean today, June 8th.  Last May, Irish environmental charity Clean Coasts joined forces with National Spring Clean, to provide communities around…
Pictured at the launch of the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Clean Oceans Initiative Fishing Gear Retirement Scheme to coincide with World Oceans Day on 8 June are: BIM Chairman Aidan Cotter, fisher David Kirwan, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. and BIM CEO Jim O’Toole
A “Clean Oceans” fishing gear retirement scheme has been announced by Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue to mark World Oceans Day. The project, which is aimed at collecting old and damaged fishing gear, is to take place this autumn and…
World Oceans Day - The June 8th date was designated by the United Nations
The "underwater treasure" around over 3,000 km of Irish coastline is the theme of three talks hosted by Galway Atlantaquaria to mark World Oceans Day. As Dr Noirín Burke of Galway Atlantaquaria says, Ireland can “boast an incredible range of…
A humpback whale, one of three sighted by PhD student Miguel Blázquez Hervás some 10 km east of Fastnet lighthouse, West Cork
Stunning humpback whale images have been captured by a postgraduate student east of the Fastnet lighthouse during a research trip off the West Cork coast. Miguel Blázquez Hervás, a PhD student at the Atlantic Technological University (ATU) in Galway, was…
The harmless-looking goldfish is so voracious that attempting to save its life by releasing it into the wild could be “catastrophic” for native biodiversity, a new study suggests. A study by Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) scientists assessed the ecological impact…
Heidi McIlvenny, marine conservation manager at Ulster Wildlife, inspecting one of the 24 native oyster nurseries housed underneath the pontoons
Hundreds of native oysters have returned to Belfast Lough as part of efforts to bring the ‘ocean superheroes’ back from the brink of extinction. The ambitious aquaculture restoration project, officially launched on Friday (20 May) by Ulster Wildlife to mark…
Whale watchers at Cloghna Head in Co Cork
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is running a series of land-based, guided whale watches in five counties around the island of Ireland this Saturday 21 May.   Hosted in celebration of Biodiversity Week and to promote the biological recording of…
The dwarf sperm whale found washed up in Glengarriff, Co Cork earlier this month
A whale species never before recorded in Irish waters has been confirmed by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). The marine wildlife specimen reported at Glengarriff in West Cork on 1 May — which live-stranded before it was found…
A whale shark in the Egyptian Red Sea, a busy shipping area
The world’s largest fish may be under threat due to collisions with ships in the oceans, a new study has claimed. As reported by RTÉ News, researchers in the Global Shark Movement Project set out to identify reasons for a…

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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