Fish Life

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There is an abundance of fish life in the waters off the Cork and Kerry coast of Ireland from the very big to the tiny and all sizes in between. Some like the basking shark and the Mola Mola (Sun Fish) are visitors they frequent the south Ireland coast from spring through to autumn, while other are permanent residents.

Angler Fish

Angler Fish

  The angler fish (known to diners in restaurants as Monk Fish) is a master of camouflage and is very often missed by divers. It is unlike any other fish encountered in the waters of the south Cork coast of Ireland. It has a large flattened...
Ballan Wrasse

Ballan Wrasse

The ballan wrasse is the largest  wrasse species in Ireland, reaching a maximum length of 60cm. It is a heavily built fish with a deep-sided body, large head, fleshy lips and pointed snout.  Ballan wrasse are variable in colour but mostly a mottled m...
Conger Eel

Conger Eel

The conger eel is the largest eel like fish found in the water off the South Cork coast in Ireland. It can grow as long as 3m although most are less than 2m. Congers have a long, cylindrical body and smooth, scaleless skin. The dorsal fin starts just...
Bib/Pouting

Bib/Pouting

The bib is a member of the Cod family and has relatively large and deep body. The upper jaw is longer then the lower one which has the distinctive chin barbell.  It has three dorsal fins, the first of which is triangular in shape and two anal fins. ...
Dogfish/Catshark

Dogfish/Catshark

In Ireland Catsharks (scyliorhinidae) are often called Dogfish. Most divers and many fisherman will call a small spotted Catshark a common Dogfish of a lesser spotted Dogfish. However true dogfish sharks belong to a separate Order (Squaliformes). Catsharks...

Dragonet

The common dragonet has a rather flattened head and body and when viewed from above the head is almost triangular in shape, its eyes are close together and on top of the head. In the mature male the first dorsal fin is more that twice the height of the...
Two Spotted Goby

Two Spotted Goby

The Two Spotted Goby darts around continually around in the water a few inches above the bottom often in patches. This habit as well as its markings make it easy to identify. It is reddish brown with pretty pale blue markings down its side. There...
Goldsinny Wrasse

Goldsinny Wrasse

The Goldsinny is the smallest wrasse that occurs in the sea around Ireland. The Adult fish are usually about 12cm in length. They have a slender body with a pointed head, small mouth and relatively large eye. The Goldsinny is golden or pinkish brown...
John Dory

John Dory

The John Dory is a highly distinctive fish that looks like a flat oval plate on edge. It has a big head with a sad face and a dark spot on each side. (this was said to be St Peter’s thumb print and led to this fish being called St Peter’s fish). The...
Leopard Spotted Goby

Leopard Spotted Goby

This is a very easy fish to identify the overall body is mauve with dark blotches all over the body and head. They are a shy little fish and will dart into its hiding place at the first sigh of an intruder.  This goby is usually found in rocky ground ...
Ling

Ling

The ling is a long, slender elegant fish with a distinctive single barbel on the chin. It has a rounded tail fin and two dorsal fins, the first fin is short and rounded while the second is long and of uniform height. There is a dark blotch on the...
Cuckoo Wrasse

Cuckoo Wrasse

The cuckoo wrasse is one of the most colourful fish that occurs in the seas around Ireland. It has a slender body and head and reaches a maximum length of 35cm. The female is rose-red to orange-red in colour with three or four black blotches interspersed...
Basking Shark

Basking Shark

The basking shark is the largest fish in the waters around Ireland and the second largest fish in the sea (the largest being the whale shark). It is east to identify, because of its size (usually around 7m to 11m). It has five very large gill slits...

Pollock

The pollack is a member of the Cod family and has a typical cod shaped body with three dorsal and two anal fins. The lower jaw protrudes, but unlike many members of the cod family, it does not have a chin barbel. This fish has silver sides and head while...
Tompot Blenny

Tompot Blenny

The tompot is a favourite fish of many divers because of its clown like face, with big lips and prominent eyes. It is large and stout, for a blenny, commonly up to 20cm long. One of the most distinctive characteristics of the tompot, are the two branched...
Yarrells Blenny

Yarrells Blenny

The Yarrell's blenny has a long, slender body and two pairs of branched head tentacles above the eyes. A dark ring around each eye extends to a strip down the cheek, this makes its face very distinctive. It is often seen peering out from the rock...
Red Blenny

Red Blenny

The Red blenny (also called the Portuguese Blenny)  is similar to the Tompot blenny, it has a pair of branched head tentacles, but it is thinner and as the name suggests predominantly red in colour, with a pattern of red markings overlaying a paler ...
Mola Mola

Mola Mola

Mola Mola at Bream Rock The ocean sunfish , Mola mola , is the heaviest known bony fish in the world, it can grow to an average weight of 1,000kg. These fish are ocean travelers and can be found in both tropical and temperate waters around...