Humpback whale at Greencastle, Co. Donegal, now washed up in Antrim coast.

20th Sep 2004 Yesterday evening 26th August a large whale appeared to be caught in lobster pots off Greencastle on the Donegal side of Lough Foyle entrance. The whale, which Andrew Speer local NPW Conservation Ranger has confirmed is around 40ft, is an adult humpback whale, died over night. At time of writing 11:00 am Fri. 27th it was c300-400 meters offshore and still attached to the ropes.

The whale may well come ashore on the Donegal side, but we have no idea how this will pan out, as it may come ashore on the Derry side, or may even wash back out to sea.

If you know of anyone who intends to visit the site to photograph it, can you please pass the word around that we would be very grateful if anybody could try to obtain a few images of the white underside of the tail fluke, as this is what is used to photo ID this species.

Any other images would indeed be helpful as they help us tell the full story. It may of course not be possible to photograph this aspect, depending on what way the body is resting. But any pics of the tail stock (top or underside) or dorsal fin will be useful.

As a side note IWDG received a report from Darren Hanna of 1-2 whales 100-150 meters off Benone Beach, Co. Derry on Sun. 22nd Aug. and his opinion, after searching a few websites, was that they were humpback whales. So it is possible that this whale is connected with his sighting.

Padraig Whooley


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