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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Marine Wildlife
European Shark Experts Gather in Galway
International experts on sharks, skates and rays will meet at the Marine Institute in Galway for the 14th Annual European Elasmobranch* Association Conference from 10th-13th November 2010. The waters around Ireland are home to a rich diversity of sharks, skates…
'Propellers' To Blame for NI, Scotland Seal Deaths
Scientists believe that a recent wave of fatal corkscrew-like injuries to seals discovered in Scotland and Northern Ireland are the result of contact with boat propellers. Original speculation on the ususual injuries pointed the blame at sharks. But Dr David…
NI Aquarium Hosts Seal Week
The Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry, Co Down will host its Seal Week from 6-14 November. The week will feature fun seal-themed events for children and families, including daily seal feedings, as well as talks from the  knowledgeable staff who care…
Watch Out For Tagged Seals
The Irish Seal Sanctuary (ISS) has put out a call for observers to look out for tagged seals. Following the news that a seal pup rescued and tagged by the ISS was discovered in Wales, the sanctuary is looking to…
Minke Whales in Big Numbers Off Southwest Coast
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has recorded two surprisingly large aggregations of minke whales off the southwest coast. The group reports that regular observer Nick Massett counted a group of eight minke whales off Slea Head in Co…
Irish Seal Sanctuary Receives Surprise Donation
A young supporter of the Irish Seal Sanctuary (ISS) has donated €450 to help the seals she visits regularly. Staff at the sanctuary in Courtown, Co Wexford were amazed when 13-year-old Sarah Butler donated her personal savings towards the care…
Rescued Seal is Stabbed to Death
A seal rescued by lifeboat crew members less than three weeks ago has been found dead after being stabbed. Gardai in Arklow, Co Wicklow are carrying out an investigation after stab wounds were spotted on the animal's body after it was…
Whale Breaks Long Distance Record for Mammals
A humpback whale has broken the world record for long-distance travel by any mammal. The female whale swam at least 9,800km from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil to Madagascar in the Indian Ocean in search of a…
Killer Whale Stranded on Mayo Beach
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reports that a killer whale was found stranded in Tullaghan Bay, Co Mayo earlier this month. A post morten was carried out on the carcass of the female killer whale by Conor Ryan…
Dunmore East Seal Shooter is Fined, Loses Guns
Waterford Circuit Court has upheld the District Court's prosecution of a fisherman for animal cruelty after the shooting of a seal in Dunmore East harbour. The unnamed shooter – who was formally licensed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service…
Dead Dolphin in Youghal Prompts Vigilance
Following the discovery of a dead dolphin in Youghal last week, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has called on locals to be watchful for marine mammals in distress. The common dolphin was found washed up on Clay Castle…
Monty Halls Gives Talk on 'Capturing Giants'
Renowned diver Monty Halls is set to present a public talk on his marine animal work filming whales, sharks and dolphins around the world tomorrow night (7 October). Halls, who has been in Ireland since April making his latest documentary…
Study Shines Spotlight on Starry Smooth-hounds
New research from University College Dublin on marine animals may bring closer attention to one of Ireland's least well known species of shark. Dr Edward Farrell of UCD's School of Biology & Environmental Science spent the last four years of…
Killer Whales Spotted off Kerry Coast
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) spotted killer whales off the coast of county Kerry during an offshore survey last weekend.  The killer whales crossed within two metres of the bow of the research vessel, others swam just beneath the…
Strangford Seal Deaths (Warning Picture May Upset Some Viewers)
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has expressed concerns over a high number of unnatural seal deaths reported in recent years along the County Down coast. Declan Looney, Senior Wildlife Inspector with the NIEA said: "Both harbour and grey seals…
Protected Seals in Northern Ireland Were Decapitated
A total of 16 were found, mainly grey pups and juveniles - which are both protected under European legislation - were recovered from Strangford Lough and Dundrum Bay. The Environment Agency said circumstantial evidence indicated interaction with some form of…

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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