New whale species discovered off coast of Glengarriff

May 30th, 2022 3:00 PM

By Emma Connolly

(Photo: IWDG on Facebook)

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THE discovery of a new species of whale off the coast of Glengarriff is described as ‘very exciting.’

West Cork already enjoys an international reputation for whale and dolphin watching, and this will promote it further.

The dwarf sperm whale was live-stranded off Glengarriff on May 1st and later died.

Padraig Whooley of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) said he didn’t know anyone who had ever before seen this species. ‘It only measures around seven or eight feet in length and it’s usually only found in deep water. So by dint of this it’s probably going to be misidentified as something like a purpoise. The fact that this species of whale has potentially been swimming off our shores and never before recorded is very exciting,’ he said.

The IWDG hope to get more funding to research  deep diving and poorly understood species like this, he said.

And Padraig said this showed how important it is for the public to report sightings and strandings to them.

There is only one record of dwarf sperm whale in the UK. That was in 2011 off the Cornwall coast.

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