Fin Whale Strands in Co. Dublin

20th Aug 2016

Photographs sent to IWDG showing assymetric colouration of the baleen plates confirm that the baleen whale which stranded at Shankill in County Dublin early yesterday (19 August) is a juvenile female fin whale. This is the fortieth recorded stranding of this species on the IWDG database but only the third record from the east coast with previous records from Chour in Co. Wexford in 2009 and Ballagh in Co. Down in 1924.

Photo: William Healy.

Since being washed ashore, the carcass has taken a battering from the elements, however distinctive 'slices' on the side/upper body suggest that this whale fell foul of the propellors of a large vessel. While this is the likely cause of death, it is also possible that this damage may have been caused post mortem.

Photo: Justin Ivory.

Together with four other strandings received in the last couple of days, this brings the total of strandings received by IWDG so far in 2016 to 152, the highest on record for any year to this date.

Mick O'Connell,

IWDG Strandings Officer