07.Mar.08 Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Stevenson   

Winds too high to go out, as they have been all week. Looks like next week will be the same. However did receive the following good news today from Allied Whale at College of the Atlantic.

Hi Andrew.

Just thought you would be interested in hearing that one of our students, Adrianna, matched one of your whales to the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalogue.

I attached the four images of the same whale (a 2007 animal) for your reference. It matched to HWC# 8344. We have only one other sighting of that humpback who was photographed in 2002 on the Scotian Shelf (specifically Banquereau Bank) off the northeast side of Nova Scotia. This is an area that has had only minimal survey effort (a few NOAA Fisheries cruises) over the past few years and is a region of interest (among many!!).

Hope you are doing well.




For the North Atlantic catalogue, Allied Whale have been looking at the long-term matches - when they tallied them up they found over 300 whales with a 20+ year sighting history, 19 with a 30+ year history. Their record is 34 years, from 1974 to 2007. And two of those 30-year whales were mine, from Bermuda! Allied Whale finished taking all of my whale fluke shots from 2007 through their catalogue - never did find the friendly whale Magican Whale, so they have catalogued it as a new animal, #6091.


Hello Andrew.

It was a pleasure to speak with you the other day about the humpbacks

you photographed and experienced on Challenger Bank, Bermuda. I printed

off three of the individuals yesterday and began "running" them through

the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalogue (NAHWC) which currently

contains over 5,600 individual humpback whales from all over the North

Atlantic. The individual I began matching is the attached image (the

Type 4 flukes). It looked familiar to me and reminded me of a whale from

Newfoundland so that is where I began my search.

And, it matched! The whale is HWC# 1061 and one we have known since

1978!! It has a lengthy and interesting sighting history. I have

included it below:

July 1978 - off Baie de Verde Harbour, Newfoundland

August 1979 - Salvage, Newfoundland

March 1985 - Silver Bank, West Indies

July 1992 - Witless Bay, Newfoundland (I worked extensively in Witless

Bay during the early 90s and likely saw this whale there!)

January 1993 - Silver Bank, West Indies (again!)

July 1993 - Witless Bay, Newfoundland (back there again too!)

August 2002 - off Sweet Bay Reach, Newfoundland

March 2007 - Bermuda (your sighting)

From the repeated migrations back to Newfoundland, it appears that this

is its feeding ground. Also, the sighting history reveals that this

whale is a minimum of 29 years of age. Further, in looking over the

earliest photo of this whale (from 1978), I can see that it is (likely)

not a calf and therefore is at least 30 years old! (Flukes of calves

tend to be greyish in colour.)

This type of match is always exciting to us as it enhances our

ever-growing knowledge of humpback movements in the North Atlantic.



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