Sunday, 26 May 2013

Several sightings of dolphins off the Isle of Man – Are Bottlenose dolphins moving north?

Plentiful herring may be luring the dolphins
May 2013. The unusual sight of a large group of bottlenose dolphins near the Isle of Man this week may be further evidence that they are shifting their summer range northwards, says the marine conservation charity Sea Watch Foundation.

The Manx Whale & Dolphin Watch not only reported around 10 bottlenose dolphins in the north eastern part of the Isle of Man on May 19, but later the same day, a large group of 50-60 bottlenose dolphins, including young calves, were seen off the eastern part of the Island.

Have you seen any Bottlenose dolphins off the Isle of Man or nearby?

Both organisations are calling for members of the public to send in photographs to of bottlenose dolphins off the Isle of Man or off the north east coast of England and the Galloway coast in the northeast Irish Sea, to see whether they can be matched with any known to frequent Cardigan Bay. Photographs need to show their fins side on which are used for ID in much the same way as fingerprints in humans!

20 Bottlenose dolphins off Abbey Head, Dumfries
Another interesting sighting - a group of 20 bottlenose sightings off Abbey Head, Dumfries and Galloway - was also reported to Sea Watch by Regional co-ordinator, Mark Pollitt, manager of the Dumfries and Galloway Environmental Recording Centre on 20 May. Photographs are again being sought to see whether these dolphins match records either from Cardigan Bay in Wales or form Scottish populations on the west and east coast.

Rissos dolphins
Daphna Feingold, Sea Watch Monitoring officer for the Cardigan Bay bottlenose dolphin Photo ID Project, says: "There were also reports of Risso's dolphins in the Isle of Man area at the same time and of the two species swimming together. Although this is not unheard of, it is quite unusual in UK coastal waters.

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