Flurry of large whale activity off south west Ireland06/12/2012 11:46:36 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.
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