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Observations – dive at Killary

Ciara Ní Chualáin, an Irish marine scientist and diver, has sent us the following interesting account of a dive at Rossroe pier in The Killary Harbour last Saturday:

”Killary for those that know it (to dive) is very very silty and often hit and miss when it come to marine life other than tube worms and anemones. My buddy Donal and I dropped into about 3 metres and headed north until we were in a depth of about 5 or 6m and then we headed due east reaching a maximum depth of 20 metres. The red and yellow tube worms were as prominent as ever at 12-15m, as were velvet crabs and the occasional brown crab.

What was interesting was the number of large Nephrops poking out from their burrows in the silt at relatively shallow depths. In the past I have only seen Nephrops in depths of 25m or more and usually across the bay on the North shore, never so close to Rossroe. Scallops were also very plentiful at all depths. We saw two large jellyfish, possibly lions mane jellies but thankfully far enough away not to concern us.  When we reached the wreck (a fishing vessel which sank about 2years ago maybe) I couldn’t believe how many fish were present (mainly pollack)- huge shoals by Killary standards. The wreck lists on its starboard side in a depth of about 18-20m at the bottom and 14m or so on top and the fish seem to love it.

On the return west we must have encountered five thornback rays, gorgeous animals which lay placidly on the silt as we swam over. At a depth of about 6m slightly west of  Rossroe pier we came upon a dead dogfish lying on it’s back and apart from the obvious it was in quite good condition. Alarmingly however, there were at least another 5 dogfish in the same condition. There was nothing to indicate what might have caused these mortalities.

Overall it was a great dive, sea conditions were unexpectedly calm, currents were negligable and the water temperature allowed us to log a comfortable 65 minute dive”.

– Irishmarinelife welcomes observations, photos or any questions you may have; please send them to

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