25th Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary Anniversary Cruise on Celtic Mist

10th May 2016

9 May 2016

The Celtic Mist 25th Anniversary Sanctuary Tour launched this Sunday in Fenit, starting our 3 month round Ireland cruise. A blog of our adventures so far is coming soon, so keep an eye out on our website. You can track us as we go on our website here http://www.iwdg.ie/ as we may be coming to a location near you very soon!
We had some very exciting sightings today as we sailed from Fenit to the Aran Islands, seeing humpbacks, minkes and dolphins. Tomorrow we'll be setting out from Kilronan in Inis Mor at 12pm in search of some more! If you're in the area, come pay us a visit to learn more about us and our Sanctuary Tour.

#‎CloudywithAChanceofHumpbacks‬ https://t.co/HTtez3AmIk

A huge thank you to Tony Whelan of Canola Pictures for filming the beginning of our adventure.


8 May 2016

The launch of the 25th Anniversary Santuary Cruise took place today in Fenit, Co Kerry. Celtic Mist will sail to Kilronan on Inis mor tomorrow with Padraic de Bhaldraithe as skipper and islander Ray Meehan onboard as well as 6 other IWDG members. Follow the cruise on facebook and twitter.

Tá an IWDG le tabhairt faoi thuras mara uaillmhianach 3 mhí timpeall ar Éirinn chun an fógra gur Tearmann Míolta Móra agus Deilfeanna a bhí in úiscí na hÉireann 25 bliain ó shin a chomóradh. Cuirfear tús leis an turas deisealach timpeall na hÉireann san Fhianait, Co. Chiarraí ar an 7 Bealtaine agus déanfar míolta móra, deilfeanna, scabhairneacha agus muca mara a thaifeadadh chun bithéagsúlacht mhara shaibhir na hÉireann a cheiliúradh. Is ar bord an tsoithigh Celtic Mist de chuid an IWDG a dhéanfar an Turas Mara Cuimhneacháin 25 bliain, soitheach a bhronn muintir Uí Eochaidh ar an IWDG in 2012.

Beidh bitheolaithe mara agus baill den IWDG ar bord chun fáilte a chur roimh an bpobal agus roimh bhaill an IWDG agus chun labhairt leo go heolasach faoi mhíolta móra agus deilfeanna.

Tá sé i gceist go rachfaí chuig an oiread féilte agus imeachtaí mara agus is féidir agus cuairt a thabhairt ar scoileanna agus ar phobail an chósta le linn an turais. Tá súil againn seoladh suas an Life i gceartlár Bhaile Átha Cliath ar an 7 Meitheamh 2016 chun an fógra a cheiliúradh. Beidh an pobal ábalta rian an tsoithigh a leanúint i bhfíor-am ar www.iwdg.ie agus beidh blaganna, íomhánna agus físeáin den turas á bpostáil againn ar an mbealach. Agus sinn i gcalafoirt beimid ag bualadh isteach ar scoileanna agus ar phobail an chósta chun cainteanna a dhéanamh agus dul i mbun imeachtaí oideachais agus for-rochtana.  

Más mian leat tuilleadh eolais a fháil, nó a fháil amach cén chaoi le bheith páirteach, cuir r-phost chuig celticmist@iwdg.ie más é do thoil é, nó déan teagmháil le:

Meadhbh Quinn ar 087 275 9529


29 March 2016

IWDG are pleased to announce a 25th Anniversary Santuary Cruise onboard the IWDG vessel Celtic Mist to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ireland's whale and dolphin sanctuary.

On June 7th, 2016 it will be 25 years since the Irish government declared all Irish waters a whale and dolphin sanctuary. Dr David Cabot, Special Advisor on Environmental Affairs to the Department of the Taoiseach at the time described the declaration as "a seminal moment in the history of whale and dolphin conservation throughout Europe, and indeed the world, as well as for Ireland and the IWDG".

 Common dolphin and calf © Cian Clarke

At first the immediate reaction to this declaration was criticism and hilarity, questioning what would it mean to establish a sanctuary and where was the legislation for such a move.  However, but as time moved on support grew, both nationally and internationally and the sanctuary became a rare positive and strong statement about whale conservation from a sovereign government.  Following  Ireland’s political support of the Irish whale sanctuary, the Irish government also supported the establishment of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 1993 and claim to have increased its area by hundreds of thousands of km. Following this engagement with international whale conservation, Ireland hosted the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Dublin in 1995 and the Irish Commissioner was voted Chair of the IWC in 1997. Ireland was centre-stage in international whale politics as well as whale conservation.

Prior to the Sanctuary Declaration few people in Ireland knew there were whales in Irish waters. Many are still not aware. The Sanctuary Declaration helped enormously to raise awareness and subsequent government action including providing funding  has furthered our knowledge and  better understanding of their ecology and conservation status. This momentum has been continued to this very day, although overtaken by obligations to Europe. However, every government conservation initiative on whales and dolphins, and there have been many, states in the preamble that Ireland declared its waters a whale and dolphin sanctuary in 1991. Political will is a neccessary precursor togovernment action and the Sanctuary Declaration certainly paved the way, locally and internationally.

 Celtic Mist off Hook Head, Co Wexford © John Coveney

This declaration came only three months after the newly formed IWDG proposed this ambitious statement.The IWDG will be celebrating this declaration this summer with a 25th Anniversary Sanctuary Cruise onboard the IWDG vessel Celtic Mist.  The cruise will start from Fenit, Co Kerry on 7 May and travel clockwise around Ireland. We hope to take in as many festivals and maritime events as possible and visit schools and coastal communities along the way. It is our intention to sail up the Liffey in the heart of Dublin on the 7th June 2016 to mark the anniversary of the declaration. It is due to finish back in Fenit at the end of July. Onboard wil be marine biologists and IWDG members to talk knowledgeably about whales and dolphins and the IWDG and welcome members of the public (and members) onboard.

The 25th Anniversary Sanctuary Cruise onboard Celtic Mist will be run by IWDG members and berths are filling fast. We invite all IWDG members to assist in this cruise. Members and the public will be able to track the position of the vessel in real time on www.iwdg.ie and we will be posting blogs, images and video of our tour of Ireland as we go.  While in port, we will be calling into schools and coastal communities to deliver talks and carry out education and outreach events.  

Please contact celticmist@iwdg.ie if you would like to be involved, or to arrange an event in your area. 

You are welcome to share or use information and articles from this website but please reference the source and acknowledge the IWDG.