Blue whales spotted off the west of Ireland
IWDG research team encounter Blue whales
Blue whales were spotted off Ireland's west coast. (c) Deirdre Slevin 2012
September 2012. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's new marine research vessel Celtic Mist set sail last Monday 3rd September on a Marine Mammal Observation and Passive Acoustic monitoring. RV Celtic Mist towed a hydrophone array for acoustic detections and surveyed offshore shelf edge waters as well as inshore and coastal waters to provide the maximum variety of species and marine habitats.
Minke & Humpback
The team set sail from Dingle, County Kerry encountered various pods of common dolphins, but as the fog and mist set in, visibility was lost. On a much brighter Tuesday, they sailed around the Blasket Islands and encountered hundreds of Common Dolphins and numerous Minke whales in a feeding frenzy; they were also accompanied by a Humpback whale!
Fin & Blue whales
By Wednesday morning they took advantage of the calm seas and blue sky and ventured further to the continental shelf edge. Soon after arriving at sunrise Thursday morning they were greeted by several Fin whales and before long we had the amazing opportunity to witness two Blue whales surface within 500m of the boat.
11 cetacean species
As the week continued, they encountered 11 different cetacean species, ranging from Harbour porpoise to the Blue whale.
If you would like to enquire about more trips onboard Celtic Mist, contact Deirdre@rvcelticmist.ie or visit the IWDG website www.rvcelticmist.ie
Courtesy of The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
Fantastic aerial photos of the Blue whales off Ireland taken by the Irish Air Corps, some 80 - 100 nautical miles South West of Mizen Head on 06th Sept 2012