Seal Scuba Diving and Snorkelling

Seal Scuba Diving and Snorkelling

Scuba diving or snorkelling with seals is an amazing and memorable wildlife encounter and one of the most thrilling underwater experiences imaginable. Plunge into the cool waters of the North Atlantic Ocean and snorkel or scuba dive with the Grey Seal colony found around the infamous Blasket Islands. Interact with these playful and inquisitive wild animals in their natural habitat and on their terms. This day trip is one of the best activities you can undertake during your stay in Dingle! Not only will you snorkel/dive with the seals, but you will also experience the breath-taking views of The Blasket Islands from sea and view the stunning marine and coastal life found in and around our waters!

Check availability on our scuba diving or snorkelling seal trips

Contact us on +353(0)879111643 or email at info@divedingle.com.

 

Eastern Atlantic Grey Seal facts:

Seal Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
Grey seals have been known to dive to depths of up to 300 metres and stay underwater for up to 20 minutes!

Adult male statistics and info:

  • Measure between 1.95-2.5m in length
  • Weigh between 170-310kg
  • Males reach sexual maturity at 4-6 years of age, however may not attain territorial status until 8-10 years of age.
  • Live up to 25 years of age on average, with 29 years being the maximum recorded age.
  • Males tend to have dark brown-grey coats, sometimes nearly black with a few lighter patches.
  • Male adults have a distinctive long “Roman” nose with wide nostrils.

Seal Scuba Diving and SnorkellingAdult female statistics and info:

  • Measure between 1.65-2.1m in length
  • Weigh between 103-180kg
  • Females reach sexual maturity at 3-5 years of age
  • Live up to 35 years of age on average, with 46 years being the maximum recorded age.
  • Females are usually light grey-tan coloured, lighter on the front with dark spots and patches.

 

 

Seagrass

Most people have the misconception that Seagrass is like the grass we get in our back gardens, that it can be abused, dug up and cut. However, Seagrass is a lot more sensitive to environmental change. In the last few decades there has been a large decline in seagrass beds worldwide, approximately 50% of Seagrass Beds have been lost, this is not just bad news for the species the seagrass beds support as nursery grounds, but moreover it could be detrimental for mitigating the effects for climate change.

Dingle Peninsula Marine LifeSo why should anyone care about some grass in the sea?

If you like eating seafood, whether its Crab, Lobster, Fish or Shellfish and want to keep eating it, you need to do your bit to help protect the Seagrass. The beds provide microclimates for juvenile species, as there are lots of places to hide from predators. Seagrasses as primary producers are food for large numbers of herbivore species, such as Urchins and are also feeding grounds for many migratory species. Secondly, if you live close to the coast Seagrass beds reduce coastal erosion, filter water and trap sediment. It oxygenates the surrounding area for many other species. Seagrass sequest carbon dioxide in the surrounding water and are massive carbon dioxide sinks. So just like chopping down the rain if Seagrass beds are destroyed, not only will there be no further sequestration of carbon dioxide, if the routes of the Seagrass are ripped up it will all release carbon dioxide back into the surrounding water. This will add to the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere and add to climate change.

Why are Seagrass Beds in decline and what threats do these habitats face?

Sewage, aquaculture and farming all add excess nutrients into the ocean, which leads to algae blooms, in turn restricting sunlight for the Seagrass and reducing oxygen. Coastal development in many areas has physically uprooted and destroyed Seagrass. Dredging for navigation reduces the light levels in the water and can suffocate the seagrass. Anchor damage is another increasing threat with a growing world population flocking to the coasts and increasing recreational boat use.

So what can you do to help?

Never anchor on a Seagrass Bed, find a sand patch. Support conservation bodies and organisations trying to change legislation to reduce water pollution. When driving a boat in shallow water over a Seagrass Bed tilt the engine up and turn it off as to avoid damaging the area. If you live near the coast don’t apply too much fertiliser/nutrient pellets to your garden to reduce the amount of nutrients running into the ocean.

Around the Dingle peninsula we have Seagrass Beds; one of my favourite dive sites just inside of the Dingle harbour mouth is a Seagrass Bed, which supports Thornback Rays, Cuttlefish and many other species!

By Hannah Green
Marine Biologist and Divemaster in training.