2011 07 15- Judie Clee makes matches a whale IDed in Bermuda in 2009 to Greenland Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Stevenson   


On our diary entry for 15th of March 2009, two years ago, you will find several photos of this whale, which Judie Clee matched today to a Greenland whale NAHWC #4275 first identified in 1989 and then again in 1990 and 1991. All three of these Greenland sightings were made by Greenland Fisheries (Gronlands Fiskeriundersog). Apart from our additional sighting in 2009, no other sightings have been made of this whale.

To see the full story from that day in 2009 in Bermuda, click on this link:


Note the chunk of flesh hanging off the trailing edge of the right fluke above. This female was protecting her calf, itself badly entangled around its head with ropes (photo below). The calf's chances of survival were slim. The mother too was in a weakened condition and vulnerable to shark attack.


Photo of calf with entanglement of ropes or net around its head.

It is curious that this whale was seen three years in a row in Greenland and then not at all until Bermuda in 2009. This could mean a concerted effort in Greenland for those three years, but also interesting that it wasn’t seen in Newfoundland en route, or in the Caribbean in any year. At the time that we saw this whale, she had left her calf in shallow water in the middle of the Bermuda platform in about 40-60 feet of water where the calf would be safe from predators. The mother meanwhile was close to the edge of the platform where she might have been resting after feeding. When she collected her calf and then began breaching dozens of times, she was near the edge. The escort that then quickly joined her seemed to have been feeding on the edge when she started breaching. Once all three were together we left so as not to disturb them. We didn’t have any equipment, or the knowledge to attempt to release the calf. We do have detailed notes from that day (as we do from any of our excursions, with every blow and minute accounted for).


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