The project is based out of the Shannon Dolphin Centre in Kilrush, Co. Clare and is one of the longest running in Europe. In 1993 boat surveys of the Shannon Estuary recorded 25 individual Bottlenose dolphins through photo-identification. Since then the population has been extensively studied revealing that there were at least 145 dolphins present in 2015 - they live within the estuary but move to the nearby bays of Tralee and Brando.
Meet some of the Shannon Dolphins below.
The Shannon Dolphin Centre has facilitated many young researchers over the years to develop fieldwork and data handling skills while annually collecting photo-identification data on commercial dolphin watching boats and dedicated survey transects to estimate the population’s size, calving rates and distribution which help evaluate the potential effects caused by the Shannon Estuaries continued industrialisation.
Inis Energy of the Sea are delighted to be sponsoring the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and their Shannon Dolphin Project this year, helping them co-ordinate fieldwork and maintain the Shannon Bottlenose Dolphin Photo ID Catalogue.