New species of whale visits Irish waters for first time

A new species of whale has been spotted in Irish waters for the first time in over 25 years. The bowhead whale was spotted on Sunday afternoon by one of the crew of Carlingford Lough Pilots Ltd just off the mouth of Carlingford Harbour, Co Louth. They filmed and photographed this whale and posted the image on Cork Whale Watch’s Facebook page.

Members of the IWDG then used these images to confirm that the species was a bowhead whale with it’s distinctive shape and lack of a dorsal fin. Amazingly this species usually found in the Arctic was over 2000 miles south of its natural habitat. It is estimated to be around 6m long and is most likely a juvenile. This now brings the total now to 25 species of whale, dolphins and porpoises that visit Irish waters.

The IWDG research ship Celtic Mist has been diverted to Louth to locate the whale, but as yet they have not spotted it. The Celtic Mist is currently on a anniversary cruise to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ireland being declared a whale and dolphin sanctuary. The cruise will end next Tuesday when they arrive in the capital to celebrate the declaration.

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Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me ann@coastmonkey.ie or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22

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