Early summer sees the start of the annual increase in sightings in the Bay of Biscay of the second largest whale in the World, the Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus). This is a spectacular event for waters so close to British Shores.
Fin Whales are the second largest species of whale on the planet! They can measure up to 24 meters in length and suffered significant hunting during the whaling days. They have a varied diet including fish and krill and tend to ignore or are insensitive to ships in their vicinity, often leading to some very close encounters with whale watchers.
From the P&O Cruise Ferry, the Pride of Bilbao, The Biscay Dolphin Research Programme (BDRP) has been monitoring Fin Whales in the Bay of Biscay continuously over the last 10 years amassing a unique database. BDRP research data has demonstrated that Fin Whales are present in the Bay of Biscay almost year round, but reach highest numbers during the summer months (June – September), where they are observed feeding in groups containing mother calf pairs in the deep water over the abyssal plain and on the continental slope, which runs through the Bay. This strongly suggests that Fin Whales display a seasonal post-natal migration in the Bay of Biscay.
Adrian Shephard | alfa
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