[MARMAM] Humpback whale sighting in the south of Portugal (Algarve)

Ana Marçalo amarcalo at gmail.com
Fri Jul 6 09:49:06 PDT 2012

Dear Colleagues,

Just recently we had the news of a sighting of a humpback whale in the
waters off the Côte d´Azur by OceanCare.

Yesterday one humpback whale entered the harbor of Ria Formosa, in the
Algarve (South of Portugal) and was monitored by the Portuguese
Wildlife Society. By comparing with Sylvia Frey´s (OceanCare) photos
it is not the same animal (dorsal fin details are different and body
condition is different).

Here are some pertinent details:
- Date: July 5th, 2012
- Time: 2 p.m.
- Location:  up to 0.5 mile inside the Faro/Olhão port entrance
- Duration of the sighting: 3 hours
- Length of the animal: approx. 8-10 meters
- Sex: unknown

- Behaviour of the animal: as the tide was coming in and pretty
strong, the whale seemed to be struggling with the current on its
intentions to get out. The animal looked thin, it behaved calmly and
diving on an average for 2 minutes before coming out to take another
breath. However, in any of its dives it showed the fluke for more
detailed identification. As the tide direction changed (after 2.5
hours from the beginning of the sighting), the whale approached the
entrance and got out in a fast velocity heading Southwest.

Please find some pictures on the following link:

It would be interesting to know if this juvenile animal was already
spotted by other researchers (probably in a mother-calf situation).
Any intentions to investigate this and share photos please contact
amarcalo at gmail.com.

Finally if you would like to use some of the attached photos, please
give credit to Portuguese Wildlife Society.

Best regards,
Ana Marçalo
(Portuguese Wildlife Society-University of Minho, Portugal)

Ana Marçalo
PhD/ Marine Biologist

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