[MARMAM] Humpback whale in the northern Adriatic Sea

Tilen Genov tilen.genov at gmail.com
Mon Feb 16 12:46:43 PST 2009

Dear MARMAM and ECS subscribers,
apologies for cross-posting.

A humpback whale (*Megaptera novaeangliae*) was observed in Piran bay
(Slovenia, Gulf of Trieste, northern Adriatic Sea) today. The animal has
apparently stayed in Slovenian waters during the past week or so, as we have
been receiving several sighting reports. The whale was sighted off the towns
of Koper, Izola, Piran (Slovenia) and Trieste (Italy).

Today, our research group managed to locate, observe and photograph the
whale. It appeared to be an adult, about 10-12 m long, in normal body
condition. It performed clustered dives of 2-3 short ventilations (dives
lasting 5-20 seconds) followed by a long dive (between 5 and 10 minutes). It
even breached once (total body except the tail fluke was clear out of the
water). The animal stayed in Piran Bay for the whole day. Flocks of seagulls
could be seen feeding in the same general area.

Photographs of the animal can be found at:
(photo-ID shots are towards the bottom)

We would be very interested in knowing whether anybody working in the
Mediterranean (or the Atlantic, for that matter) has seen this animal
before. Higher-resolution photos are available upon request. Unfortunately,
we did not manage to take any good photos of the flukes, but the dorsal fin
is not too bad.

Furthermore, we would be very interested in your feedback about cases of
humpback whales in the Mediterranean (Ionian Sea - Greece, Adriatic Sea -
Italy,...). in the past few years and in receiving any photographs from
previous sightings.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional information.

Sincerely Yours,

Tilen Genov

Morigenos - marine mammal research
and conservation society
Jarska cesta 36/a
1000 Ljubljana
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