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Two killer whales have been spotted off the Mullet peninsula.

Dúlra Nature Tours was conducting a survey of whales, dolphins and sharks, when 'Comet' and 'Puffin', male and female members of the west coast community in Scotland, were seen near the Inishkea Islands.

Machiel Oudejans, a marine biologist working with Dúlra Nature Tours, said the killer whales were identified using photographs of the dorsal fins and the white saddle patch behind the dorsal fin.

"By matching the photos to an online database in Scotland, the whales were identified. These whales are commonly observed near the Hebrides, west of Scotland. Little is known about the distribution of these whales, which occasionally travel long distances and visit the Irish coastal waters," said Mr Oudejans.

However, in July, 'Comet' and 'Puffin' were observed near the Aran Islands as part of a group of four killer whales, thus suggesting the mammals have stayed in Irish waters for weeks.

In July the crew of the LE Ciara photographed a pod of five killer whales off the Mayo coast.

This summer has seen a record number of sightings of killer whales off the Mayo coast. To date, five sightings have been confirmed between Broadhaven Bay and Achill Island.

"In Scotland these killer whales are known to hunt seals. Harbour seal colonies exist in Blacksod Bay and Broadhaven Bay and the Inishkea Islands are home to the largest grey seal population in Ireland, providing feeding opportunities for these whales in the area. Grey seal sightings are recorded daily on our tourist trips and during most wildlife surveys," Machiel told the Western People.