On Wednesday April 28, a humpback whale was observed and filmed by boaters at Les Ébihens, an archipelago located between Saint-Cast-le-Guildo and Saint-Briac. An increasingly frequent sighting in the Channel in recent years, but very rare in this sector. On a video of a few seconds, we can clearly see the back of the animal diving in front of the Île des Ébihens. The identification was confirmed by the Cancalaise naturalist association Al Lark, which studies the populations of cetaceans transiting along the coast.
An imposing animal
By collecting the first observations of boaters, the association initially believed in a minke whale, but the identification could be confirmed on video, thanks to the particular shape of the front of the fin. “We could not assess the age of this whale, but you should know that the young are already seven to eight meters long,” said Morgane Perri, scientific officer at Al Lark. “They are particularly imposing animals”.
For them, the Emerald Coast is a cul-de-sac and the observed whale may have chosen to go there for many reasons, currents, schools of fish, maritime traffic …
Passing near the coast
“Humpback whales are migratory”, continues Morgane Perri. “In spring, some cross the Channel to reach the North Sea, where they find food in abundance.” Usually, they take a direct route that takes them further north. “For them, the Emerald Coast is a cul-de-sac and the observed whale may have chosen to go there for multiple reasons, currents, schools of fish, maritime traffic…”.
A rare sighting, therefore, in the area, but not so exceptional in the Channel, where several specimens are seen each year. A recurrence that Al Lark explains by the increase in whale populations and that of human testimonies, often filmed and widely shared.
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