First blue sharks of year

June 22nd, 2020 10:30 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Conor Reilly and Paddy McKeon aboard ‘Silver Dawn’ with one of the first blue sharks caught in Ireland in 2020.

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THE wildlife seen in West Cork waters at the moment  has been described as ‘incredible’ by one local boat operator, who caught, measured and tagged the first Blue Shark in Ireland for 2020 just last week.

David Edwards –  who operates West Cork Charters out of Courtmacsherry Bay –  said he has been taking his boat ‘Silver Dawn’ out for a number of maintenance runs as he prepares for the season ahead and has come across fin whales, blue sharks and the rare Risso’s Dolphins.

‘The wildlife has been incredible and on a run last week we saw three species of whales and three species of dolphin including a large number of one of our more infrequent visitors, Risso’s Dolphin which had a lot of interest from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG),’ David told The Southern Star.

‘While offshore last Wednesday we caught, measured and tagged and released the first Blue Sharks in Ireland this year which measured at 94lbs and 60lbs with Conor O’Reilly from Shannonvale being the lucky angler along with Paddy McKeon.’

On Monday, David also came across giant basking sharks within a mile of the shore in Clonakilty Bay.

David’s first charters in months are commencing this weekend and this is a particular special one as it’s for HSE staff who worked during the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘We still have a couple of free spaces available for Sunday if anyone from the HSE wants to join us,’ added David who plans to run several of these trips as a thank you to HSE staff.

His boat is licensed for 12 passengers and has ample room to facilitate social distancing.

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