Pair of minke whales spotted off Peel in the Isle of Man

A rare sighting of minke whales off Peel in the Isle of Man Credit: Jane Young

Incredible pictures have emerged of two minke whales feeding in the Irish Sea off the Isle of Man coast.

One of them was snapped from a boat as it leapt from the water, off Contrary Head, a mile and a half from Peel.

The shots were captured by Ian and Jane Young, who had the incredible encounter from their rib at 10.30am on Monday 7 June.

Captured on camera from their fishing rib off Contrary Head Credit: Jane Young

The couple were cruising along at 3 knots, with the whales feeding on a large bait ball for 30 minutes along with hundreds of birds.

Then one of the whales propelled itself out of the water in a rarely seen breach, just as Jane had her camera focused on the animal, resulting in this incredible set of photos.

Ian and Jane Young spotted the two minke whales and took these stunning pictures Credit: Jane Young

Further reports of bait balls and minke whales have been reported in the past few days in the south and west of the island.

The sightings have delighted Manx residents sharing the pictures on line and marvelling at their incredible marine life and the stunning 'once in a lifetime' photo opportunity.

Credit: Jane Young


The Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch group has been studying cetaceans in the Isle of Man for 15 years, gathering photo evidence of some of the marine life around the Island.

Other species that can be spotted in the Isle of Man include:

  • Harbour porpoise.

  • Risso's dolphin.

  • Bottlenose dolphin.

  • Short beaked common dolphin.

  • Minke whale.

On rare occasions, humpback whales have also been spotted - most recently in August 2016 and before that in 2010.

Frequent visitors to the Island's shores include two bottlenose dolphins called 'Moonlight' and 'Starlight' who regularly swim close to the beach.

These are the first mother and juvenile who are being referred to as a 'temporary resident' to the Isle of Man due to their regular sightings.

The team at the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch hope to continue studying the dolphins to examine feeding behaviour and potential prey species.

More on Manx wildlife here: