Fin Whale near Pag

On the 2nd of October the 112 County Center in Zadar, informed Blue World of the observation of a whale around 10:30am on the west side of the Pag bridge near the Pleiades bay on the island of Pag. After the alert, we contacted the person who observed the whale, who was still watching the animal at 11.15am. The whale was swimming about 500 meters from the coast, surfacing every ten minutes and swimming in the direction of the bridge.

Although no photography was possible to reliably determine the species, we can assume that this is a Fin whale - Balaenoptera physalus (Linnaeus, 1758), the only species that permanently inhabits the Mediterranean Sea. The whale belongs to a group of baleen whales, feeding on small pelagic fish and planktonic crustaceans. The Fin whale is the second largest animal in the world, just behind the blue whale. The largest recorded specimen in the southern hemisphere was up to 27 meters, but in the Mediterranean Sea Fin whales have about 18 to 20 meters length. They occur in all seas and oceans of the world, in the Mediterranean Sea there is a partially isolated resident population. Although their exact number is not known, it is estimated that today in the Mediterranean live several thousand adults. Entanglement in fishing nets, collisions with ships and environmental pollution are major threats to them. Also, disturbance caused by a large ship traffic can further affect them.

In the Adriatic Sea, as part of the Mediterranean, the great whales regularly appear. Observations on the high seas in the middle and southern Adriatic, especially in the summer months, are not uncommon. However, some individuals approach the land, and enter the channels and bays. The last occurrence was recorded in the vicinity of Biševo and Vis, Blitvenica, in the Velebit Channel, Novigrad Sea, Bay of Rijeka, among other areas. In a recent aerial survey Blue World recorded a FIn whale near Palagruža (see photo).

However, the appearance of these animals near the shore can have fatal consequences for them due to harassment and / or loss of orientation, we ask all citizens to alert us to their observations in order to track its way along the coast.

It should be stressed that the Fin whales as well as all other members of the group of whales (Cetacea) in the Adriatic Sea are protected and it is prohibited to harass them. Although they are harmless, their great size can pose a danger to people who try to get close to them. Therefore, for his and your safety, observe it from a safe distance.

Also, the Fin whale are regularly found in bays and shallow areas, but have never been recorded stranding. Therefore, even if the whale is in a bay, it is important to ensure that animals are not chased and that he is not approached by motor boats, because the fear and panic could cause its stranding. Slowly, left alone the whale will find a safe exit.

In the case of observations please, if possible, make a photograph and record the exact location and time of observation. Consider an animal (length, coloration, appearance, head, etc.) that could help us in determining the species. Observations we can communicate by phone             051 604666       or             091 4637424, email info@plavi-svijet.org, or the 112 emergency call

Thanks for your help and cooperation!