Two killer whales were spotted off the coast of Skerries, North County Dublin last week. This has been the second sighting of these animals in this area in the last few weeks.
The whales were spotted by a group of fishermen on a fishing trawler eight kilometres from Rockabill, which are a group of two islands five kilometres east of Skerries.
In a video by James Mac Cluskey, the fishermen guess that these whales could be ‘John Coe’ and ‘Dopey Dick’, two whales that belong to the Scottish West Coast community group of killer whales from the Hebridean Isles. They have been spotted nearly annually off the Irish coast since 1982.
The group of fishermen guess that the killer whales were hunting seals and harbour porpoises, which are known to live in Skerries and the surrounding areas’ waters.
Padraig Whooley, the sighting officer with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), told the Irish Times that it was “difficult to assume” the identity of the whales. ‘John Coe’, who has a very distinctive dorsal fin, can’t be identified due to the sun glare in the video posted by Mac Cluskey.
The IWDG validated both sightings of the killer whales off Skerries’ coast, the two happening in the last month. The last pair were spotted about 35 kilometres east of Skerries and travelling north on October 30th.
They were made aware of this sighting by the video and asked if anyone else has any photographs or videos of the whales to send it to them, especially if they show the dorsal fin clearly so that they can work out whether either of the whales are ‘John Coe’.