Skip to content
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal

First ever pictures of Arctic beluga whale in Irish waters (well, it has been a bad summer)

The whale hasn’t been spotted since 1988 – and this is the first image of a beluga in Irish waters.
Aug 8th 2015, 8:15 AM 22,856 14

IT’S PERHAPS A reflection of the rather cool conditions we’ve been experiencing of late…

A species of whale usually found at home in Arctic waters has been spotted off the Antrim coast.

According to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, it’s the first sighting of the species in Irish waters since the organisation started its monitoring in 1991.

It was spotted and photographed off the Antrim coast on 30 July.

whale Source: Gordon Watson/IWDG

whale2 Source: Gordon Watson/IWDG

“A beluga whale is extremely unusual,” Dr Peter Evans of the Seawatch Foundation told the BBC.

It’s the first record that we know for Northern Ireland and in fact there’s only been about a dozen in 50 years for the whole of Britain and Ireland.

The last previous sighting was around Cork Harbour in 1988. There was also a sighting in Mayo in 1948.

Whale Moving Close-up of a beluga whale. Source: Associated Press

According to the IWDG, the last record of a beluga in Irish or British waters was in 2007.

“So even at much higher latitudes such as the Orkneys or Shetland, sightings of beluga are extremely rare events.”

The organisation is asking for anyone with images or video evidence of the mammal from the last few weeks to get in contact.

Read: 19 of the most stunning images from Google Street View… underwater

Pictures: Crowds gather as massive sperm whale washed ashore in California

Send a tip to the author

Daragh Brophy


    Back to top