The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has recently published a comprehensive policy document on cetacean welfare - Cetacean Welfare Policy. In response to growing global awareness of the importance of cetacean welfare, and increased public and media interest in the welfare of cetacean populations present in the waters around Ireland, the IWDG has prepared a document to inform those interacting with cetaceans on how to ensure the safety of individuals and protect the welfare of focal animals.    

Coastal cruising sailors of Ireland know how abundant whales and dolphins are in our coastal waters and what a large part they play in the precious eco system that we all enjoy. The policy explains what is meant by cetacean welfare, the factors important to the welfare of cetaceans and how we, as humans interacting with cetaceans, can act to protect and improve the welfare standards of cetaceans in Irish waters. The main welfare impacts identified as important to cetacean welfare addressed in the document include; live-stranding, eco-tourism (whale watching and swim-with-cetacean tourism), net entanglement / by-catch, ship-strike and scientific research. Each of these areas are explained in detail and followed by a set of guidelines and recommendations designed to improve individual safety and cetacean welfare.

The IWDG Cetacean Welfare Policy is available in print from the IWDG or it can be downloaded here. You can find out more about the work of the IWDG at or report a sighting directly on their website to help with their records.

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