Posted on December 7, 2012
From Wildlife Extra:
Flurry of large whale activity off south west IrelandRelated articles
Humpback and Fin whales in West Cork – Courtesy of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG)
December 2012. Over the last 2-3 weeks, there has been a lot of large whale activity off south and south west Ireland. Humpback whales have been active, but Fin whales have been present in larger numbers than their show off cousins. 6 Humpbacks have been identified from previous visits.
The whales have been particularly showing off West Cork, but this
large whale activity is not limited to West Cork as there are currently
Fin whales off both the Waterford and West Wexford coastline.
Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
(IWDG) have been sent a lot of images of both dorsal fins and
tail-flukes in the past few weeks, which enables them to state with
confidence that this recent activity comprises a minimum of 6 humpback
whales. They are HBIRL1, 3, 4, 6, 10 & 21. All of these Humpbacks
have been previously recorded in Irish waters by the IWDG Cetacean
Sighting scheme, and two of these (#3 & #10) have been biopsied.
IWDG are really happy to see the return of HBIRL1, who is their
longest recorded humpback, having been first recorded back in Sept 1999
by Eoin O’ Mahoney off the Kinsale Gas platforms. It is wonderful to
know that 13 years on, this individual is alive and well and returning
to Ireland’s Whale Sanctuary. Also included is #HBIRL3, known to many in
West Cork as “Boomerang”, a male, who is without question the most
frequently recorded humpback whale in Irish waters, if not in any
The IWDG’s cetacean recording schemes enables them to build a larger
picture and to give these sightings some context. For instance of these 6
Humpback whales, 4 of them were recorded in the same West Cork waters
near Galley Head
during Dec 2008, and have not been recorded since. Now five years
later, they are back together in the same area. This raises important
questions as to possible “associations” between these whales and whether
they are somehow related, or what the level of kinship is between them.
Respect the whales
Humpback whales are one of the slower rorqual species, and as such
are prone to disturbance from too many boats spending too long and
approaching too close. IWDG reminds people taking their private boats
out to watch these whales that your actions on the water can potentially
impact on the whales and their behaviour. It may even tip the scales
from habitat being “favourable” to unfavourable, which could push the
whales out of the area, into other areas with less traffic.
Go to the website of the IWDG to see more about these sightings and whales in Ireland.
- Unusual sighting of five humpback whales off Ireland’s south west coast – VIDEO (irishcentral.com)
- Albino humpback whale off Svalbard (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Remarkable whale hunt captured off coast for the first time (independent.ie)
- Rotting whale is gigantic problem in Malibu (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Humpback Whales Up Close and Personal: Gotta-See Video (news.discovery.com)
- Humpback whale puts on a show for photographer in Baltimore harbour (irishcentral.com)
- Whale watchers look the wrong way as huge humpback leaps out of ocean (telegraph.co.uk)
- Shark bait? Rotting whale on Malibu beach raises fear (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- AK: Humpback Whales (alaskapublic.org)
- Gormless whale watchers look the wrong way as huge creature breaches the waves (dailymail.co.uk)