Fin whale live stranded on Achill Island

25th Dec 2013

26 December 2013

A steady stream of people went out to see the fin whale on Achill Island today. IWDG chair Willie Muehlhausen travelled up to take samples including skin, blubber, muscle and baleen as well as photographs. It is not possible to tell from photographs supplied by Tom Honeyman from Achill whether the whale was in poor condition when it stranded. The fate of the whale is not known but it will most likely remain on Keel beach over the next few days.

A video of the whale stranding can be viewed on

https://www.facebook.com/IrishWhaleandDolphinGroup#!/photo.php?v=639635359427159&set=vb.100001421028599&type=2&theater

Fin whale populations in the northeast Atlantic have incresed in recent decades after years of protection. They are abundant of fthe south coast in the winter and of fthe western seaboard along the shelf edge so strandings of this species are likely to be a regular enough occurrence in coming years.

25 December 2013

A fin whale live stranded on Keel Beach, Achill Island, Co Mayo yesterday, Christmas Eve.  It was alive on stranding but died a few hours later according to local RNLI officers. 

The whale is reported to be 20m long and a male.  The whale will remain on the beach over the next few days and what better way to walk off the Christmas dinner but with a trip to Achill to see one of natures' giants. Although the whale is dead it is still a fantastic opportunity to witness the second largest animal on the planet close up. We ask visitors to respect the caracass and not try and deface it.

Many thanks to John O'Shea and Tom Honeyman for reporting the stranding on Christmas Day.