1958 Stranding7th Mar 2013
Well it’s not often that the IWDG Cetacean Stranding Scheme receives a record from the last century but we’ve recently received an interesting record from Andrew Sides of the Loughs Agency in Lough Foyle, Co. Derry of a northern bottlenose whale Hyperoodon ampullatus. The whale was caught in stake nets close to the city of Derry in July 1958 and is only the second record for this species in that county. It is interesting to note that the other record is also from Lough Foyle only some 15 months later on 26th September 1959 and it’s tempting to wonder what connection, if any, there was between the two incidents.
There are four strandings recorded for this species in Northern Ireland, with the other two coming from Belfast Lough, Co. Down (10th October 1926) and Carnlough, Co. Antrim (27 January 1947). The IWDG strandings database currently has a total of 38 records for this species from around the coast of Ireland and it is interesting to note that exactly half of the records for northern bottlenose whales date from 1938 or before (the earliest record dates from 1829) despite the fact that stranding recording would have been more haphazard than in recent years with the benefits of publicity, digital photography and instant communication!
IWDG are grateful to Andrew and the Loughs Agency for forwarding the image and information for this stranding.
IWDG Strandings Officer