Open Call for Citizen Scientists to take part in Whale-Watch Ireland 2017

August 25th, 2017

The All-Island Whale Watch Day is being held this weekend at headlands nationwide. This annual event is free and open to all members of the public.

The purpose of the day is to support whale and dolphin conservation in Ireland and raise awareness of the 25 species of cetaceans – porpoises, dolphins, and whales – recorded to date in all Irish waters.

Members of the public will have an opportunity to become Citizen Scientists for the day, and actively learn how to look for and observe marine mammals in their natural environment.

Any cetacean sightings recorded during the event will help to provide Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) researchers with a unique snapshot of whale and dolphin activity around the Irish coast and help improve awareness of our marine megafauna.

All watches are land-based and will take place at local headlands or known vantage points in most coastal counties between 2:00-5:00 pm on Saturday, 26 August 2017.

Watches will be led by experienced IWDG researchers, enthusiasts, and whale watchers, who will demonstrate how to observe and identify some of the more commonly recorded cetacean species known to frequent Irish waters.

Pádraig Whooley of the IWDG advised that, while the guarantee of seeing whales or dolphins is not guaranteed, the arrival of species like minke and humpback whales along the Irish coast is a “good omen” for this year.

“At last year’s Whale Watch event both whales and dolphins were recorded across 13 of the 20 sites,” he said. “So, if the weather is suitable on the day, you’ve quite a good chance of seeing some interesting marine wildlife.”

Attendees are advised to bring binoculars or a spotting scope and to dress appropriately for outdoor weather conditions.

The event is organised by the IWDG in association with Inis the Energy of the Sea and forms part of National Heritage Week.

While no advanced bookings are necessary, should you wish to attend an event in your area, IWDG asks that you contact your local organiser for further details, or visit the IWDG website here.

About the Author

Dan Connell

Daniel is a journalist and contributor to Green News, whose focus is on marine conservation and environmental issues. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Marine Science from NUI Galway.

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