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The planet’s largest living creatures, Blue whales, have been spotted off the west coast of Ireland in what experts say is the first confirmed sighting on record.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) confirmed today that one of its members had photographed the whales off the Kerry coast while on board a fishing vessel, MV Atlantic Explorer , earlier this week.
The vessel was out searching for albacore tuna near the Blasket Islands when at two large whales approached vessel.
Ivan O’ Kelly of the IWDG photographed the whales, which were later confirmed as Blue whales on account of their pale colouration and unique mottling pattern.
The IWDG says this is the first confirmed sighting of a blue whale in any Irish waters in living memory.
However, according to the Irish Times website, “acoustic monitoring studies in the North Atlantic conducted by US researchers from Cornell University has indicated that upwards of 50 blue whales pass through Irish offshore waters in late autumn and early winter on what is their southbound migration”.