Bottlenose dolphins in Seapoint, Co Dublin

21st Apr 2009 Up to 13 bottlenose dolphins were observed chasing fish in to Seapoint Bay this morning, giving watchers a great display of aerial acrobatics.

Liz and Philip Hickey watched with amazement as up to 13 dolphins were leaping outside their house. They have lived in Seapoint for 10 years but had never seen dolphins in the bay before. Liz contacted the Mooney show on RTE who made contact with the IWDG.

Arthur Reynolds, retired editor of the Irish Skipper, who also lives at Seapoint, told the IWDG that he thought the dolphins were feeding on whiting fry that are presently in the bay.

Although bottlenose dolphins may be seen infrequently in Dublin Bay, they rarely stay for long periods. An image of one bottlenose dolphin from a group observed by Susan Early off the Bull Wall on 2 June 2008 was sent to the IWDG who matched it to an image taken of the same dolphin photographed by Joanne O'Brien of GMIT in Galway Bay on 31 August 2008. This dolphin made a 600km journey in around 90 days. This remarkable re-sighting suggests bottlenose dolphins are travelling around the entire Irish coast.

The IWDG have recently proposed to the National Parks and Wildlife Service that more Special Area of Conservation are required for both bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoise to protect their habitats and ensure they continue to thrive in Irish waters.

The dolphins soon left the bay after their breakfast and the IWDG are interested to hear of any more sightings. We will keep you posted on any further developments.

Simon Berrow

IWDG Co-ordinator

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