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13 New Road

Glenarm

Ballymena

Co. Antrim

Northern Ireland

BT44 0AA

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Email: info@glenarmtourism.org

The sea and coast around Glenarm is home to lots of interesting marine species as well as being a migratory passing point for some of our larger visiting sea mammals. The Glenarm river is also extremely important for Salmon that make their way home via the river. The brackish estuarine waters where the river meets the sea is full of ‘horned wrack’, or ‘estuary wrack’ (Fucus ceranoides), and plenty of ‘serrated wrack’ (Fucus serratus ). These masses of seaweed provide great shelter for green shore crabs (Carcinus maenas) and tiny little ‘shrimp-like’ amphipods. Further up the shore rough periwinkles (Littorina saxatilis) take residence on the exposed rocks in various colours from pure white and murky brown to bright orange. These little molluscs can easily be mistaken for dog whelks (Nucella lapillus) but rough periwinkles are typically found on the upper shore, are smaller in size and don’t have the defining grove you’ll spot along the inside of the dog whelk shell. Very sparse patches of sea kale also grow on the hinterland at Glenarm, a rare sighting now along the NI coast. If you venture deeper into the water around Glenarm encounters with crayfish and lobster are sure to occur; you’ll spot these creatures scuttling around the silty seabed along with brown crabs. Beautiful kelp forests off Glenarm bay support a variety of life from luminously striped blue-rayed limpets (Patella pellucid), which are tiny limpets that live on the fronds of the kelp, to adventurous dogfish (Scyliorhinus canicula) and intricately delicate brittle stars (Ophiothrix fragilis). Orca’s (Orcinus orca) have been spotted off the coast of Glenarm as have sightings of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)...it’s always handy therefore to have your binoculars at the ready to test out your fin ID skills.’

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Marine Wildlife

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