Ocean giants visit the Gulf of Trieste

Today, Morigenos researchers located and observed two fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), thanks to a report by one of Slovenian fishermen. The fin whale is the second largest animal on our planet and the only regularly present baleen whale in the Mediterranean Sea. In the northern Adriatic Sea this species is typically recorded every few years. Fin whales in the northern hemisphere grow up to 22.5 m and 50 tons, while their southern hemisphere counterparts can grow up to 26 m and 80 tons. They mainly feed on small crustaceans called krill, and on some small fish species. The fin whale is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. In the Mediterranean, it is primarily threatened by ship strikes, underwater noise, chemical pollution and microplastics.

We photographed both whales and obtained aerial footage of them. Based on photographs of dorsal fins and other body parts we will be able to determine if these whales have been observed elsewhere by our colleagues working in other parts of the Adriatic and Mediterranean, while aerial footage will help determine their overall body condition.

Morigenos is extremely happy to have a great ongoing collaboration with local fishermen, without whom we would not be able to collect such valuable data today.

Morigenos asks those of you at sea to report any whale sightings to us at +38631771077 and thereby help us collect important information about the movements and the health condition of these animals. We also ask boat owners to reduce potential negative impacts on these whales by not approaching them closer than 200 m.