The Malta Independent 14 April 2021, Wednesday

WATCH: Whale spotted surfacing to breathe off Gozo coast

Monday, 5 April 2021, 21:06 Last update: about 8 days ago

A whale has been spotted off the coast of Gozo, specifically near Ta' Sanap cliffs on the southern side of the island.

Uploaded by Facebook user Melania Bajada, the short footage shows the whale surfacing in the sea to get a breath of fresh air.

The specimen spotted is likely a Fin Whale.

Known as a Balaenoptera Physalus scientifically, the Fin Whale is the largest baleen whale found in the Mediterranean. It can grow to between 17 and 22 metres in length.


Although it is the most common baleen whale species in the Mediterranean, it is considered to be a vulnerable species in the area, and an endangered one on a global level.

The whales are known to favour regions around Italy - the region located between the Gulf of Lion, the northwest coast of Corsica, the north and west coasts of Sardinia and the coast of Liguria, is the region with the highest abundance of fin whales.


The fin whale is also common in the areas between Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and the western Italian coast, and the region west of Corsica and Sardinia.


The Ligurian Sea is their main feeding ground and consequently they tend to aggregate there in summer. The winter distribution of the species is less clear. It has always been thought that the individuals spread out to other regions of the Mediterranean, but this aspect is not as clear as previously thought.

There are some individuals that spend the whole year in the Ligurian Sea, others that travel to the Alboran Sea, located between the northern coast of Africa and the southern coast of Spain. There are several fin whales that have migratory movements during spring and autumn.


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