A Whale of a Sighting
Huge gathering of second largest animals on planet
More than 20 fin whales were spotted together two weeks ago off the coast of Wales. Fin whales are the second largest living animals on the planet – second only to blue whales. They grow up to 88 feet long (like maybe 20 average humans end-to-end), weigh about 120 tons, and rarely gather in such large numbers.
“We saw five groups of fin whales in little over half an hour, in group sizes of up to seven,” said Becky Scott, a scientist with MARINElife. “The whales were blowing frequently and some were lunge-feeding near the surface. It was absolutely fantastic. Luckily, many of the other scientists onboard were able to share this amazing spectacle with us.”
The fin whales had gathered in an area known as the Celtic Deep, off the coast of South Wales and Cornwall, England. They don’t usually venture so far north during the summer months. But the scientists speculated that the fish they eat may be moving northward due to climate change.
“This is one of many changes in whales, dolphins and porpoises which scientists are discovering and which are thought to be driven by climate change,” said Colin McLeod, MARINElife’s Chief Scientific Adviser and an expert on whales and climate change. “If it is affecting these top predators to such an extent, it is likely that it is also affecting other marine life further down the food chain, including species which are commercially important for the fishing industry.”
What do you say? Have you ever seen whales in the ocean? What was it like?
What you can do: Visit the MARINElife.organization online.