Sunday 15 September 2019

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Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

A whale of an event

Thursday, 22nd August, 2019 8:54am

This year's All Island Whale Watch day will make a splash on Saturday at several locations around the Irish coastline. The event, organised by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), aims to raise awareness of the 25 species of cetaceans (porpoises, dolphins and whales) recorded in Irish waters to date.

Attendees will have the opportunity to witness some of these wonderful marine mammals in their natural habitat. The event also provides IWDG researchers with a unique snapshot of whale and dolphin activity around the Irish coast.

Watches are all land-based and will be led by experienced IWDG researchers, enthusiasts and whale watchers, who will show you how to observe and identify some of the more commonly recorded cetacean species in Irish waters.

Attendees should bring binoculars or a spotting scope and dress appropriately for outdoor weather conditions. There are no boat trips involved, and there is of course no guarantee that you will see whales or dolphins at your chosen site.

However the arrival of minke, humpback, and other species of whales and dolphins along the Irish coast is a good omen for this year’s event.

Last year’s All Island Watch Day saw whales or dolphins recorded at 14 of 19 sites, so participants have a good chance of seeing some extraordinary marine wildlife, and in the process you’ll be supporting whale and dolphin conservation in Ireland.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) invite people to join them for a land-based whale watch at a local headland on Saturday 24 August between 2-5pm. The Cork watch will meet at the lighthouse at Galley Head, and is led by Pádraig Whooley. You’ll have a whale of a time!

The annual all-island event, organized by the IWDG and sponsored by Inis the Energy of the Sea www.seathebeauty.net is free and open to all ages.

For further details visit the IWDG website iwdg.ie for the latest information on whale and dolphin sightings and strandings in Irish waters. Whale Watch Ireland, will once again be part of Heritage Week, co-ordinated by the Heritage Council www.heritagecouncil.ie.

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