Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Minke whales being spotted more often off north east England

North Sea erupts with marine life
August 2013. Yet, last month seven Minke whales, an impressive 10 metre long migratory species were seen off England's north-east coast. The length of an average London bus, this whale has also been sighted in good numbers from shore and during small vessel surveys off the in recent weeks, including off the Farne Islands. A record number of Harbour Porpoises, up to 108 individuals, were also spotted.

Ferry sightings
The whales were spotted in July by MARINElife conservation researchers aboard DFDS Seaways freight ferry service from Immingham on the east coast of England to Esbjerg in Denmark. Land-based observers have also been reporting their sightings to the North East Cetacean Project (NECP). It was only a short way into the journey when researchers were treated to a pod of four Harbour Porpoises. These docile marine mammals are surprisingly numerous in this expanse of water, having been spotted on every outing by MARINElife surveyors in this area since the winter of 2012. However, as the numbers rose to a staggering 108, it was clear this was the largest number of these creatures spotted since the charity began surveying the area over a year ago.

Why has it been so good for whales and porpoises?
Dr Martin Kitching, North East Cetacean Project Coordinator at MARINElife, says "a rapid increase in sea surface temperatures and the appearance of huge shoals of Sand Eel and Mackerel (whale and porpoise food), combined with near perfect conditions for observation, have shown just how extraordinary the marine environment is. All of the sightings in recent weeks provide an excellent addition to our North Sea database, which has been critical in the ongoing debate about Marine Conservation Zones."

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails