Adopt a Dolphin


For €30 a year you can help us continue our important work to monitor Shannon Bottlenose Dolphins by contributing towards survey day fuel costs, camera equipment, data storage and maintaining the photo-ID catalogues for both species. You can select your dolphin for adoption using the ‘Choose Your Dolphin’ dropdown menu below. You will receive an info pack on your adopted dolphin including your certificate of adoption. You will also receive an annual update on your dolphin by email at the end of the field season. To learn more about these dolphins, please scroll down the page

Please make sure to specify the exact name that you would like on cert in the notes, along with the postal address and eircode you would like us to post it to and the email address you would like us to send the annual update of your dolphin to.

Follow the Instructions below

Proceed to Checkout, on the right hand side is an option with Ship to a different address?, tick box and a drop down menu will appear and also at the bottom of this menu is an option to include Order notes… 



    Product Description

    Adopt a Dolphin Biographies

    006 Sarafina

    006, also known as Sarafina, was first sighted by researchers in June 1993 and so was one of the first dolphins to be added to the IWDG Shannon Dolphin catalogue. As she was an adult when first sighted, she is believed to over 30 years old and is an important female in the Shannon dolphin population, having had three calves since 2012 alone. Her calf Nala, 801 the first calf to be officially recorded in the catalogue, was born in 2012. Her other known calves are 860, Ari, born in 2015 and 880 born in 2018. She is most frequently seen with her calves and other adults Bob 104, and Sandy Salmon 242.

    Sarafina has a prominent notch in the middle of her fin.  There are several Shannon dolphins with a similar notch so she is matched using the white rake marks crossing the front of her fin. While it may not seem like much its enough to identify her easily.

    104 Bob

    104, also known as Bob, was first added to the catalogue in July 2002?  Bob is an adult male and is the most frequently sighted dolphin by researchers.  He ranges throughout the estuary but is most often spotted in the inner estuary near Money point and Tarbert, so you may see him when crossing on the ferry. He is most frequently seen with other adult males such as 084, Sabre and 095, Giado, and the females 006, Sarafina, and 242, Sandy Salmon.

    Bob has three small to medium sized notches along his broad dorsal fin. These notches, with the heavy rake marks along the leading edge and sides of his fin, make  him very recognisable.(33 words) Both Dorsal pictures

    242 Sandy Salmon

    She is the only bottlenose dolphin to be known to have live-stranded on the shores of the Shannon Estuary. She stranded on 1 June 2012 on Béal Beach, Co. Kerry. She was nine months pregnant at the time and vomited salmon on the sandy beach, hence the name.  She was successfully refloated by IWDG scientists and members.  She went on to have her calf 817, Muddy Mackerel later that summer.  They are regularly seen together in the Shannon Estuary, foraging, travelling, socialising and resting with other bottlenose dolphins in the population.  Sandy has since gone on to have another calf, 862, who was born in 2016. Sandy’s dorsal fin does not have notches,  so researchers use other features to match her. Her most identifiable feature is the bump along the trailing (back) edge of her dorsal fin.  Rakes and pale patches along the leading (front) edge of her fin are also used to confirm the match.

    801 Nala

    801, also known as Nala, was the first calf we added to our catalogue in 2012 and so was our first known second-generation animal.  Her mother is 006, Sarafina, who is added to the catalogue when monitoring began in 1993.
    She was seen bowriding this tanker during the summer.  Less than 5 weeks later she was seen with her first calf, 886, currently gender unknown. Like their mommy 886 is special as they are the first third-generation dolphin added to the catalogue, a major milestone in the Shannon dolphin project.


    Like her mother Sarafina she has a notch in the centre of her dorsal fin.  Nala is most often seen with Sarafina and younger sibling 880, along with Sabre, Bob and Norma Jean.


    817 Muddy Mackerel

    On the 1st of June 2012 Sandy Salmon live stranded on Beal beach, Co. Kerry.   She was refloated by IWDG scientists and members.  It was not known at the time but she was pregnant when she stranded.  She gave birth to her calf, who we named Muddy Mackerel, a couple of month later. So two lives were saved that day!

    Muddy and mother, Sandy Salmon

    We can recognise Muddy from the long shallow notch on the trailing edge of the dorsal fin. What makes this dolphin instantly recognisable from a great distance though is the large white patch on the left side of the body.

    Additional information

    Choose Your Dolphin

    006 Sarafina, 104 Bob, 242 Sandy Salmon, 801 Nala, 817 Muddy Mackerel