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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Nick Massett via IWDG The two killer whales spotted off Dingle Bay

Two killer whales spotted off the coast of Kerry

The whales were spotted just off Dingle Bay

TWO KILLER WHALES have been spotted off the coast of Kerry.

A member of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), Nick Massett, headed out to Dingle Bay on Monday morning and initially spotted a group of common dolphins.

However, upon further examination, Massett discovered a pair of very tall, black dorsal fins, indicating that there were two killer whales in the water.

One of the whales was identified as John Coe, a killer whale that has made numerous appearances in Irish waters in recent years.

The IWDG reports that John Coe was seen exactly seven days previous in Scottish waters.

Speaking to, IWDG’s Sightings Officer Pádraig Whooley said that killer whale sightings in Irish waters are rare events, and they are getting even rarer.

“In the recent years, we’ve generally had three or four killer whale sightings per annum. We do get them every year but about seven or eight years ago we were getting a lot more sightings of killer whales,” Whooley said.

“In more recent years, we’ve had fewer sightings of killer whales. They may well be the same killer whales that we’re seeing every time. The sightings of them are certainly on the decline every year.”

IMG_5404 Nick Massett Killer whales are spotted in Irish waters just a few times every year Nick Massett

Whooley said that the reasons for the decline are uncertain. The IWDG says this group of killer whales, which is made up of nine individuals, may soon become extinct as they’ve had no births in over 25 years.

“It may just be a glitch, maybe they’re just going elsewhere. You can speculate until the cows come home. There could be any number of complex reasons.”

When asked if locals will be able to catch a glimpse of the whales before they leave Irish waters again, Whooley said it is difficult to determine how long they will stay around for.

“They generally don’t hang around for long but there are always exceptions. In 2001, a group of three killer whales swam into Cork harbour and stayed pretty much for four months,” he said.

Read: 36 hours alone in a bed without so much as a hot drink: lessons to be learned from Storm Emma

More: Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin to step down at end of Dáil term

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