Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Marine Wildlife
Designed by an Irish sailor, for sailors, the Kai bottle have been tried and tested on the waters of Dublin Bay and beyond
Kai Bottle found its roots in sailing. Designed by an Irish sailor, for sailors, the bottles have been tried and tested on the waters of Dublin Bay, offshore around Ireland and beyond. The rugged and insulated build along with the…
Cover of new GMIT Study on European marine microplastic polution.jpg
Most plastic and microplastic in the marine environment comes from the agriculture sector, shipping and the fishing industry, a report by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) researchers says. Plastic seed coatings; spreading of sludges from wastewater treatment plants and the…
Salmon from the River Boyne showing signs of red skin disease in 2019
Reports have emerged of wild salmon showing signs of red skin disease in three provinces, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). Low incidences of red skin disease (RSD) were first documented in 2019 in several European salmon stocks. In Ireland…
Marine wildlife sightings and strandings can be reported on the new “app” by scientists, researchers, boat operators, wildlife enthusiasts
A new marine mammal reporting “app” promises to “elevate” recording of whales, dolphins and porpoises in these waters. Sightings and strandings can be reported on the new “app” by scientists, researchers, boat operators, wildlife enthusiasts and whale watchers, the Irish…
Aerial image of basking sharks feeding off Kilkee in Co Clare
More than 2,000 people have already signed an online petition in support of legal protection for basking sharks in Irish waters. The appeal was started by Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group to encourage TDs to support…
Doug Allan with walrus 
Tuning in to the rhythms of the reef, singing happy birthday to belugas, how polar bears will smell you before they see you, why sharks get a bad press and how it’s more common for surfers than divers to get…
Flying high - (L-R) Paul Daly, Weston Aviation, Sarah Kandrot, Head of Aerial Surveys with Green Rebel Group, pilot Gerry Humphreys, AFTA and Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport
The first digital aerial ecology surveys of Irish coastal waters to be undertaken by a domestic company are about to begin following the arrival of a new special mission aircraft owned by Green Rebel Group into Cork Airport. The company…
Aerial image of basking sharks feeding off Kilkee in Co Clare
A Wicklow TD with a background in fisheries science and environmental law has introduced a bill that would afford stronger protections to basking sharks in Irish waters, as TheJournal.ie reports. The Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2021 tabled by Dáil deputy Jennifer…
TCD researchers prepare to tag a basking shark under the water off the West Cork coast
Researchers from Trinity’s School of Natural Sciences were in West Cork earlier this month to tag some of the many basking sharks that have been frequenting our shores — and learn more about the second largest fish in the world’s…
File image of Arklow Bank Wind Farm with tug Husky
Offshore renewables must not be pursued at the cost of Ireland’s biodiversity, an Oireachtas committee has been told. According to The Irish Times, members of the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change heard statements from various environmental and conservation groups who…
FjordStrong logo
An underwater surveying start-up recently spun out from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland has secured £316,000 in seed funding, as Silicon Republic reports. FjordStrong has developed a specialised system called Auto-release Baited Underwater Video, which is designed to survey…
File image of cockles
The Dundalk Bay cockle fishery is the subject of a public consultation opened this week by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Views of all those with an interest in the fishery are sought regarding the permits policy…
Dusty approaches a diving party off West Clare on Saturday 1 May
Dusty the dolphin last weekend treated two SCUBA diving sisters to an encounter they will never forget, as RTÉ News reports. Jessica and Jennifer Smith were diving with their father Finbar as part of a group with the Burren Sub…
Humpback whale floating upright beneath the surface before spy hopping off West Cork
West Cork is enjoying a veritable bounty of whale sightings “in dolphin numbers”, as the Southern Star reports. Video recorded last week near Union Hall shows two humpbacks who followed a whale watching vessel “in a very sociable mood”, according…
Galway-based scientist Dr Noirín Burke
Is Ireland “ocean literate”? Tireless campaigners for better awareness of our impact on our marine environment may not be so sure, but Galway-based scientist Dr Noirín Burke is ever optimistic. Dr Burke is director of education at Galway Atlantaquaria in…
The first sightings of what are known as 'Liadhán chor gréine' or the 'Great Fish of the Sun' have been reported to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
Basking sharks should be given legal protection under the Irish Wildlife Act, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's Chief Executive says. They are protected in the UK, including Northern Ireland and around the isle of Man. Protection within 12 nautical…

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!

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating