Posted by: orcaweb | August 9, 2009

9th August 2009 BLOG UPDATE: Fin Whales Return to Irish Waters

So far the Roscoff to Cork route has been reasonably quiet of the marine wildlife front with just a couple of sightings of Bottlenose Dolphin at the entrance to Cork Harbour and Lena’s Basking Shark a few months ago. However we do know that the Irish Sea is very good for whales and dolphins in particular with Fin Whales moving into these comparatively shallower waters during the autumn, winter and spring to feed on shoaling fish.

The last two weeks have seen the first couple of sightings of Fin Whale in Irish waters by our resident Fin Whale Scientist Ana Sofia Aniceto. Last week she recorded two, with a pod of three sighted yesterday afternoon, much to Sofy’s delight.

Ana Sofia (Sofy) our Fin Whale Scientist

Ana Sofia (Sofy) our Fin Whale Scientist

Sofy has been onboard for a couple of weeks now recording the Fin Whale’s behaviour around large fast moving vessels as part of ORCA’s Fin Whale and Go Large Campaign – preventing collision between large whales and even larger ships. With Sofy’s part looking at the whale’s themselves to assess whether there is anything we can advise crew members to do if they see Fin Whales exhibiting vulnerable behaviours, my role as a Wildlife Officer is to get passengers seeing Fin Whales and thinking about how BIG they are!

The GO LARGE campaign is encouraging passengers to visually show how big Fin Whale are once they get to their holiday destination or home, whether this be by making a life size Fin Whale in the sand or lining up all their friends and family in the outline of a whale! So far the passengers onboard Pont Aven have really got involved with 28 people lining up the length of a Fin Whale in the Main Bar!!!

GOing Large in the Pont Aven's Main Bar!

GOing Large in the Pont Aven's Main Bar!

So get creative this summer with ORCA, Brittany Ferries and the absolutely awesome Fin Whale – they are out there!!!

Email your photos to

WO Rachael


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