Romantic dolphins and coupling sharks filmed off Irish coast

Romantic dolphins and coupling sharks filmed off Irish coast

Dolphins romancing each other and sharks getting together off the Irish and Welsh coasts are just two of the previously unseen wonders of biodiversity that television viewers can look forward to in a new series.

Dolphins romancing each other and sharks getting together off the Irish and Welsh coasts are just two of the previously unseen wonders of biodiversity that television viewers can look forward to in a new series.

Iontais Na bhFarraigí Ceilteacha, a TG4 and BBC Wales co-production by Tua Films and One Tribe TV, will see naturalist Eoin Warner explore the rich nature around the coasts of Ireland and Wales, in a three-part series filmed over two years.

The team "captured some remarkable and exciting new behaviours that have never been filmed in Celtic waters before: such as the courtship rituals of bottle-nosed dolphins as well as astonishing footage of basking sharks congregating off the Irish coast", the producers said.

A dive team filmed deep into the waters, where sex-shifting cuckoo wrasse, huge sea urchins, ancient lobsters and a giant conger eel, all hiding in a wreck, were discovered.

Series director Paddy Hayes said: “The Iontais na bhFarraigí Ceilteacha team captured some really breathtaking footage of our undiscovered coasts and some eye-opening behaviour of our best-known marine animals – and it is such a joy to know that all this occurs just off our shores.”

The coast off Wexford proved particularly special for Mr Warner.

"From Wexford’s Saltee Islands, Eoin observes the guillemots – seabirds that can ‘fly’ underwater, and we also encounter the humble blenny fish getting washed-up – but the blenny can breathe on land," the producers said.

The episodes of the series are divided into three habitats – the shores, the shallows and the deep. 

The first, premiering next Wednesday, January 12, at 9.30pm on TG4, includes highlights such as Mr Warner being joined by Atlantic grey seals as he kayaks.  

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