Where to see whales, dolphins and sharks

Where to see

Whales, dolphins and sharks

Amy Lewis

Catching a glimpse

Whales, dolphins and sharks can be seen off the island's coast. Although several species have been recorded in the Irish sea, the most commonly seen cetaceans around the Isle of Man are the harbour porpoise, risso dolphin, minke whale, bottlenose dolphin and common dolphin. 

When and where to look

  • Basking sharks: Between May and August basking sharks feed on plankton blooms and mate and give birth around our waters. Although they can be seen all round the island, the stretch from Peel on the West coast, down to the Calf of Man is where they can most reliably be found. They can be seen from the shore, especially from spots like Peel Castle, Niarbyl, Port Erin and the Sound

  • Porpoise: The inshore waters off Kallow Point in Port St Mary are a real hotspot

  • Bottlenose dolphins: Large groups off the east coast in the winter months 

  • Common dolphins: Around the island, but usually only seen in the summer months

  • Risso's dolphins: On the east and south coast, from Douglas Head in the spring down to the Sound by the summer

  • Minke whale: Off the west coast, often a couple of miles offshore, in the summer. The east coast, especially Laxey and Bulgham bays in winter


We're keen to log sightings of cetaceans and basking sharks in Manx waters so, if you are lucky enough to see one, please report it on the websites below:

Species explorer