Humpback whales off Wexford and Clare

19th Aug 2003 On 12th Aug. 2-3 humpback whales were confirmed 8 miles south of Kilmore Quay, Wexford, while on the west coast on the same day, 2 miles north of Loop Hd, Clare, a pod of 3-4 humpbacks were also confirmed.

It's interesting that on the same day, more than one pod of humpback whales were using Ireland's inshore waters. Both observers saw them fluking (raising their tails out of the water) exposing the white undersides of their huge tails.

Perhaps more interesting was the fact that both referred to them blowing bubbles underwater, like they were divers under the boats, suggesting that these humpbacks may have been feeding, using a technique known as bubble-netting.

The Kilmore Quay sighting of humpbacks is exactly a month after they were seen in the same area off East Waterford, and it is possible that they are the same pod that have stayed in the area feeding on the front that has been in the area in recent weeks.


The following is a report of Humpback whales in Wexford, on July 12th.

We received a report from sailor, Jim Ryan who was sailing from Cork to Dublin, that they encountered a group of 3 large whales, off the East Waterford coast on July 12th at 17:00 hrs.

The description, length (30ft+), blow type and fact that they were observed fluking their tails are consistent with these being humpback whales. The exact position is 51ยบ 56 556N/ 07 08 716 W, some 11+ miles offshore.

This sighting is exactly a week after the IWDG aerial survey observed 3-4 large blowing whales in the same area, 20miles south of Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.