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Huge spike in common dolphin deaths around Ireland

Short beaked common dolphin

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has expressed concern over a worrying increase in reports of dead common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) around the Irish coast during the first two months of 2018. According to the figures on the group’s website 2017 was a record year for cetacean strandings in Ireland, with….

Why you should visit a dead whale

Stranded Sperm Whale Carcass, Fermoyle

In this guest post marine biology student Sean O’Callaghan, a keen cetacean enthusiast and admin of the popular Kerry’s Wild Side page on Facebook, explores some of the benefits of visiting a dead whale. Visiting a dead whale may appear on the surface to be a morbid proposition, but there are many….

Female killer whale washed up in Co. Waterford

Stranded Killer Whale Ireland

The unusual stranding of a 5 metre female killer whale on the beach at Saleen, near Tramore in Co. Waterford on Friday (30/01/2015) has been in the news this weekend. The whale, which was dead when it washed up, was said to be in “very fresh condition”, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). The whale’s teeth were very….

IWDG calls for clarity following Donegal live stranding

Dead Pilot Whale

In the wake of the unfortunate live stranding of 13 long-finned pilot whales in Co. Donegal last week, The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) — a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to whale and dolphin research and conservation — has called for clarity from state agencies in terms of which authority has responsibility for managing….

Pilot whales strand on Donegal beach

Pilot Whales Donegal

Four of thirteen pilot whales that stranded overnight on a beach in Co. Donegal have died. The other nine have been successfully re-floated by a local rescue effort that involved up to 100 people at its peak according to reports. The whales were spotted on Ballyness beach at Falcarragh, Co Donegal at 8am….

IWDG expresses concern over dolphin by-catch

Common dolphins risk bycatch in fishing gear

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has expressed concern at the possibility of what it describes as a “significant bycatch” of dolphins in Irish waters by foreign fishing vessels. Autopsy results on five of a group of 13 common dolphins that washed up dead in Co. Mayo in late….

Mass stranding of dead dolphins in Mayo

Dead Common Dolphin, Achill Island

A report from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has confirmed that eight (8) dead common dolphins Delphinus delphis have been discovered washed up on the beaches of Achill Island, Co. Mayo over recent days, with unconfirmed reports of at least another one dolphin on a nearby island. “The IWDG don’t….

Baltimore whale stranding: a good news story?

Padraig Whooley of the IWDG offering interpretation of the whale stranding in Baltimore

I was getting settled at my desk yesterday morning, pondering what to write for my Irish Independent wildlife column, when the phone beeped. It was a message from Padraig Whooley, sightings coordinator with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, telling me that a suspected fin whale had live-stranded in Baltimore,….

Fin whale stranding in Baltimore

A fin whale live stranded in Baltimore, West Cork this morning. The whale, an adult estimated to be between 45-50 foot long, was spotted in the harbour by locals early this morning. It live stranded in shallow water between the pantoon and the pier. By mid morning the whale had….

Stranding: learning from the death of a harbour porpoise

A person in outdoor gear and gloves measures a dead harbour porpoise with a tape measure on a rocky shore, with scientific equipment nearby, contributing to marine learning.

It was Sunday morning, and it was raining. Not just any kind of rain… it was that sneaky, endemically Irish drizzle that saturates you before you realise you’re getting wet. It was misery incarnate. Miserable or not, we had a job to do. I grabbed the gear, threw it in….

Sperm whale live strands in South East

A 10 metre long adult male sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) has live stranded at Cunniger spit, Nr. Dungarvan, Co. Waterford today. A flurry of phone calls yesterday evening (18/08) first alerted the IWDG to the presence of a large whale in some difficulty off the east side of the Hook….

2 pilot whales dead in South Uist; main group moves to deeper water

Marine mammal rescuers in the Hebrides have confirmed the death of 2 long finned pilot whales at Loch Carnan, South Uist. The whales were part of a large group of around 60 whales that prompted fears of a mass stranding in the loch late last week. The main pod now….