Fantastic images of fin whales from Maritime Squadron

6th Dec 2010 Airman Dermot Molloy of the Aircorps Photographic Section, Irish Air Corps, took stunning images of fin whales, the second largest animals on our planet, 133 miless northwest of Donegal last week.

Two whales were sighted in calm seas at 55˚52' N, 11˚27' W northwest of Donegal on 23 November 2010. The light conditins were excellent with their large blows being easily picked out across the blue ocean.

The IWDG have been receiving sighting records and images from the Maritime Squadron since 1995. Under the NPWS and Marine Institute Sea Change funded project called PReCAST, we attempt to accompany routine flights on a monthly basis to explore the usefulness of this platform for surveying and monitoring offshore waters for cetaceans.

Once again the IWDG would like to acknowledge the support of the Maritime Squadron and especially Captain Gerard Fitzpatrick and Airman Dermot Molloy for sharing these fantastic images of the planet's second largest animal. These images are a timely reminder of our conservation obligations to these magnificent animals.

Fin whales have also been occuring inshore as well, with up to 5-6 visible in the Bunmahon area, Co. Waterford over the weekend and with reliable sightings further east towards Hook Head in recent weeks. IWDG would like to thank all our recorders in the southeast region who have been keeping us updated on their movements.

Dr Simon Berrow

IWDG Co-ordinator