Meeting IWDG (Irish Whale and Dolphin Group)

Tuesday August 17th, 2010Galway's first stop was with the IWDG-RI, an example for everyone, as taught to PAKEA BIZKAIA as, even starting from scratch, you can do a lot for marine species.

At the first stop in Galway, Simon Berrow and his family visited PAKEA BIZKAIA to talk about the work that the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has done over the past 20 years for research and maintenance of cetaceans that live and migrate through Irish waters.

Simon said that two decades ago, when he and other researchers created the group, they haden’t any information about cetaceans in Ireland. After 20 years of hard work, collaboration and a lot of support from volunteers, today have a lot of information and the satisfaction of the 24 species that inhabit in the waters of Ireland have been declared as priority species protected. Two of them, the harbor porpoise and bottlenose dolphin are among the priority list of Natura 2000.

For their researches, the group haven’t any boat, so they have to use privete boats and fishermen’s. As Simon sais, nowadays fishers are very sensitive and collaborate with the group selflessly offering their boats or by recording the sightings that they make in the fishing.

The group has the help of a few thousand volunteers and partners who are dedicated to record sightings. To do this, they have made over the years several programs called ISCOPE. After several years of the project they have collected n a lot of  information.

Simon congratulated the crew for having the support of the sponsors, and spoke about the possibility of collaborating with Pakea Bizkaia in the next expeditions. Among his upcoming projects are research on whales in Green Cape and Antarctica.