Successful aerial survey with Maritime Squadron...Update

9th Jan 2009 Large whale update 8 Jan 2009

Lt. Rónán Mc Laughlin of the Irish Naval Service vessel, LE Aishling has just reported sightings of c10 fin whales and 1 breaching humpback whale 9-10 miles South of Toe Head, West Cork at around 14:15 today 8th Jan. This sighting compliments the sightings from the aerial arm of the Defence Forces and underlines that without their combined support, our understanding of these animal's distribution and movements would be diminished

To view this image click on Rónán's Flickr account at

www.flickr.com/photos/ronanmclaughlin

Aerial Survey Report 7 Jan 2009

The IWDG/GMIT observed at least three cetacean species during an aerial survey along the south and southwest coasts with the Maritime Squadron.


Since 1995 the IWDG have been working with the Maritime Squadron to record cetaceans observed in Irish waters during their fishery patrols.

As part of the joint IWDG/PReCAST project we try and carry out monthly flights in favourable sea conditions. Yesterday Simon Berrow and Joanne O'Brien joined the aircraft in Shannon for a flight along the southwest and south coasts.





During three hours of surveying, seven sightings were made including During three hours of surveying, seven sightings were made including three sightings of dolphins (one definitely common dolphins), three sightings of four fin whales and a solitary harbour porpoise. We also took the opportunity to facilitate Crossing-the-Line Films in their production of a series on Migration for RTE which is due for broadcast during October 2009. Cameraman, Ross Bartley, managed to obtain good footage of fin whales from the air.



These sightings will contribute to the ongoing work of PReCAST and ISCOPE II projects, which are attempting to map the distribution and abundance of cetaceans within the Irish EEZ on behalf of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.



Once again the IWDG is indebted to the service and professionalism provided by the Maritime Squadron in assisting this important work.

Simon Berrow

PReCAST Project Manager