Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Bottlenose dolphins: Large pod sighted in Manx waters

Bottlenose Dolphins in Douglas Bay 2012 - Photo MWT
Image caption Dolphins identified in January were matched with those from Cardigan Bay in Wales

A pod of more than 100 bottlenose dolphins has been spotted off the coast of the Isle of Man, according to the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch.

The group has received numerous sightings of the dolphins from both the east and west coasts of the island.

Tom Felce, of the group, said: "They are a magnificent sight."

Common bottlenose dolphins are widespread, except in polar waters. They are extremely sociable and sometimes hunt their prey in teams.

The dolphins normally visit Manx waters between October and March to feed on herring, mackerel and whiting.

'Extraordinary creatures'

Mr Felce added: "The group sizes tend to be relatively ginormous. So if they are here you can't miss them.

"They are very, very active and create a huge amount of white water. They leap all over the place. So sightings will be magnificent.

"I would encourage anyone to go out and have a look. They are extraordinary creatures and we are so lucky to have them right on our doorstep."

Earlier this year, photographs taken by the Manx Wildlife Trust of bottlenose dolphins swimming in Douglas Bay were matched with dolphins in Cardigan Bay in Wales.

Data sharing is also carried out between the Manx Wildlife Trust and the Sea Watch Foundation and Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

The Manx Wildlife Trust is also looking to see if there are any matches with dolphins from off the coast of Ireland and Scotland. It is hoped matches will help to establish how far the dolphins travel and lead to improved protection.

The Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch asks that people record their sightings on the group's website.

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