Strandings of dolphin, whales and porpoises 'very unusual'

Fri, Feb 8, 2013, 00:00

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group says the stranding of high numbers of common dolphins and other species, which has become apparent over the past two weeks here, is “very unusual”.

An apparently otherwise healthy dolphin along with two pilot whales have now been washed up at Cuas Croom near Cahirciveen and there have been continuous strandings of dolphins, particularly in Mayo and Donegal. At the end of January at least eight common dolphins have been found dead on the beaches of Achill Island, Co Mayo.

Mick O’Connell of the whale and dolphin group said the strandings in Mayo and Donegal were “way bigger” than might be expected. Porpoises had also been washed up . These were not live stranding and young dolphins had been involved.

Simon Berrow of the IWDG said weather may have been a factor in the case of a small number of animals particularly the pilot whales which mostly occupied different grounds to the dolphin.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has conducted postmortem examinations.