White porpoise in North Sea


After white beluga whales … err, they are all white … really rare white humpback whales … and a really rare white killer whale

White porpoise off Scotland, photo ┬ęKevin Robinson / CRRU

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island, the Netherlands:

White porpoise in the North Sea – 08/12/30

“We have never seen this in 16 years of research”, Scottish researchers reported on Twitter. In a North Sea bay in the north of Scotland, they saw an almost all white porpoise swimming. The small whale had only a black border around its fin. White or almost white porpoises are seen very rarely. Throughout the world that happened during the last hundred years less than ten times.

Previous observations

Coincidentally, in March between Den Helder and Texel, a white porpoise was also seen by porpoises counter Kees Rebel. According to Kees that was an immature specimen, about eight months old. “It was completely white. I saw it come up about fifteen times.” This white porpoise was seen again three days later, then near the German Wadden Sea island Juist. Because that porpoise was completely white, it is possible that the Scottish observation was another individual. That would be really special!

Porpoise beaches on Texel: here.

Porpoise beaches on Ameland: here.

Troubled times for endangered Yangtze finless porpoise: here. And here.

Yangtze finless porpoise population declines: here.

April 2013. The Yangtze finless porpoise population has declined to a mere 1,000 individuals, making the endangered species even more rare than the wild giant panda, according to the 2012 Yangtze Freshwater Dolphin Survey Report: here.

Tagging Along With Whales: With the help of new technology, researchers are capturing the details of humpback whale behavior on their North Atlantic feeding grounds: here.

Why do killer whales go through menopause? Here.

9 thoughts on “White porpoise in North Sea

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  3. White whale puts on a show

    6th September 2012 9:50 AM

    A WHITE whale believed to be Migaloo was sighted in the Whitsundays last week.

    On Thursday, August 30, the Cruise Whitsunday vessel ‘Seaflight’ was returning to Airlie Beach when passengers and crew sighted the whale near the Hook Passage at about 4.30pm. Cruise Whitsundays staff member Crystal Lacey was lucky enough to have her camera on hand and snapped a few shots of the whale in full breach.

    “[It was] the most amazing sighting of a whale I have ever seen,” Ms Lacey said.

    Cruise Whitsundays marine biologist Emily Smart said while white whales were considered rare, Migaloo was by no means the only one.

    “There are in fact about 10 or 15 from a population of between 13,000 -15,000 humpbacks that migrate up the East Coast of Australia, so it is still quite an unusual sight,” she said.

    Ms Smart said whales were often identified by specific colourations “so for a white whale it would be very difficult by sight to determine if that was a particular individual”.

    Nonetheless, the famous Migaloo is believed to be heading south and Cruise Whitsundays chief executive Peter O’Reilly said it was wonderful to think that the well-known whale was in our area.

    “He’s a celebrity, there’s no doubt about that,” Mr O’Reilly said.

    “There’s even websites tracking him, so it’s great when that spotlight falls on the Whitsundays,” he said.

    http://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/story/2012/09/06/white-whale-puts-on-a-show/

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