13 March 2013

A (unusual) sighting of a humpback whale in the Mediterranean

Yesterday, while looking for fin whales, we saw a young humpback whale, approx. 8-9-meters long, 20 km south east of the Island. The whale appeared to be swimming in a relaxed way and we recorded several episodes of surface feeding. We followed the whales for an hour and a half, while slowly moving towards the west. After talking with the personnel of the local Marine Protected Area Isole Pelagie and the fishermen, no other records of such species have been reported around the island.
Humpback whales have been reported 10 times since 2009 in the Mediterranean Sea, including this sighting, 2 strandings and 8 sightings at sea.
This project - funded by the Italian Ministry of the Environment - is a collaboration between the International Whaling Commission and the Tethys Research Institute, with the support of the Società Cooperativa Sesto Continente, working for the MPA Isole Pelagie.
                                                                  Simone Panigada