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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 24 November, 2014

First whales of the year spotted off Wexford coast

Two humpback whales and five fin whales were sighted off Hook Head over the weekend.

THE FIRST WHALES to be seen in Irish waters this year have been spotted off the coast of Wexford.

Two humpback whales and five fin whales were seen off Hook Head by members of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group over the weekend, as well as a  superpod of dolphins.

This is the third year in a row that humpback and fin whales have arrived on the Hook Peninsula. Manager of Hook Head Lighthouse Anne Waters said that the whales remained within sight until February last year.

Humpback whales are between 12 and 16 metres long while fin whales can grow up to 27 metres long, making them the second-longest animal in the world.

Tony Murray, a wildlife ranger for Wexford and a member of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, reported seeing the first whales of the season off Hook Head, around 5 kilometres from the shore, when he saw a humpback and fin whale feeding and chasing fish.

(All photos: Myles Carroll)

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