Bottlenose dolphin live- strands in Galway Bay

10th Sep 2006 A young female bottlenose dolphin was live stranded on 8 September after local people watched her breaching and chasing fish for six hours the previous evening.

The dolphin was observed following fish into bay and breaching from 15.00-21.00 by Nick Scott and Micheline Sheey-Skeffington on the 7 September. They were distressed to find the dolphin dead the following morning.

Sabina Springer assists with the post-mortem examination

Joanne O'Brien, of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, who is carrying out a PhD on small cetaceans in Galway Bay visited the stranding. With the help of IWDG member, Sabina Springer, they carried out post-mortem examination and removed stomach and intestines for dietary analysis.

An image was taken of the dorsal fin for photo-identification in an attempt to match this dolphin to Galway or the Shannon estuary.

dorsal fin of stranded dolphin: note notches on trailing edge

Joanne said "the site of the stranding was in very shallow water, screened from Galway Bay by a small island. The dolphin must have got disorientated while chasing fish and could not find her way back to open water".

Simon Berrow