Every few months, videos seem to crop up of whales and dolphins doing spectacular things off the south west.
The latest Video taken on Wednesday afternoon by Richard O’Flynn from Baltimore sees a huge pod of common dolphins swimming near the local harbour.
According to Padraig Whooley of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), the whole of West Cork and even parts of Kerry have become world class whale watching locations.
“Well, the first thing is this is not something peculiar to Baltimore. If you look at our website you will see whale and dolphin sightings all across West Cork in the last month. It’s really a Cork thing and even up to Kerry. For example, we had a large number of Minke whales off Slea Head and basking shark sightings which lots of people like to see as they are the second largest fish on the planet,” he said.
Mr Whooley said this year had been “unseasonably good” for whale watching as a result of the storms experienced during the winter.
The savage winter storms resulted in nutrients being released into the sea, running off from the land and through streams and rivers. It led to a phytoplankton bloom which consequently attracted smaller fish to feed on. This, in turn, brought larger predators like the sharks and whales we are seeing now,” he said.
Mr Whooley said whale watching in Cork now ranked up with some of the very best in the world.
“We have been saying this for 20 years. Our whale watching potential, including dolphins, in places like Cork, and west Cork in particular, in the right season and with the right weather is world class.”
“I think there is finally a realisation that whale watching has a not insignificant contribution to make to marine tourism in this country. I think Fáilte Ireland are realising that and the promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way is highlighting our marine tourism potential,” he said.
The IWDG said in the weather we are currently experiencing, people don’t need to own a boat to enjoy the spectacular shows marine life put on off the coast of Cork.
“The entire West Cork area and even into Kerry, people can have the most wonderful encounters with Minke Whales, common dolphins and basking sharks. Plus you don’t have to go out in a boat to see it. In this weather, in particular, you can go out to your local headland with a pair of binoculars, a flask of tea and some sandwiches and have some stunning encounters.”