May 12, 2010

The whales too are making aliyah! (video)

I would love to be able to go see this - a grey whale somehow found its way into the Mediterranean and has been sighted off the Israeli coast a number of times...

The population which lives in the northeastern Pacific normally migrates southwards in around October, heading for warmer waters around the Gulf of California in a huge round trip of at least 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometres).

So when autumn came, this particular grey whale began travelling south, keeping the land mass on the left and heading for the Californian Gulf with the aim of "turning left" into the bay.

But instead, it reached Gibraltar and turned left into the Mediterranean and ended up off the shores of Israel, Scheinin said.

"The question now is: are we going to see the re-colonisation of the Atlantic?" he said. "This is very important ecologically because of the change of habitat. It emphasises the climate change that we are going through."

So far, the whale seems to be happy enough in the waters off the shores of Israel, he said.

"It is pretty thin, which indicates the trip was quite harsh, but we think it can survive here," he said. "Grey whales are very generalist in what they feed on."

Now experts are mulling the possibility of tracking the whale by satellite -- a costly operation that would need outside funding and expertise, Scheinin said.

"It's quite a big operation to do this. If it stays around here for the next month, it's worth having someone come in and do this professionally," he said.

"It will be interesting to see where it goes and to follow it."


and here is a video from someone who spotted it off the coast..

1 comment:

  1. This whale knows, like we do, Israel is a nice place to be for the summer [and of course, for us, all year round]!

    ReplyDelete

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