Blue whale swims in British oceans for the first time ever | Nature | News
This unique but distant shot of a small dorsal fin cutting through the Atlantic marks the only accepted pictorial evidence of a blue whale off the UK’s coast.
The huge cetacean, measuring twice the length of a double-decker bus, was seen 250 miles south west of Cornwall over a deep-sea canyon on the edge of the Bay of Biscay, part of which lies within within English territorial waters.
Prof Russell Wynn from the National Oceanography Centre took the photograph while taking part in a marine mammal survey on board the Royal Research Ship James Cook last month.
He explained: “I was enjoying watching up to seven Fin Whales around the ship, when the blue whale suddenly surfaced about a kilometre away.
"I had just enough time to secure some conclusive photos before the visibility decreased and the whale disappeared into the gloom.”
The sighting highlights the spectacular return of the blue whale from the brink of oblivion.
GETTYBlue whales are the biggest creatures known to man
Hunted to near extinction 100 years ago, the largest of all the whales has been seen from ferries crossing the Bay of Biscay in recent times and there was a photograph of one taken off south west Ireland seven years ago.
The last week has seen the BBC filming blue whales and other marine mammals in California’s Monterey Bay, where the deep canyon waters create a food chain bonaza by throwing up huge amounts of plankton, drawing in blue and humpback whales as well as ap....