Gray whale sighted in Mediterranean after 11 years

In Ponza. Species seen on May 2020 in Israel, Spain

16 April, 18:34

    SANREMO - A grey whale has been sighted in the Mediterranean for the first time after 11 years, when it was photographed in Israel (in May 2010 and subsequently in Spain). It was seen six weeks ago off Raba (Morocco) and on Wednesday in the waters of Ponza (Italy), the director of the research institute Tethys, Sabina Airoldi, has announced.

    "The grey whale - said Airoldi - has been an extinct species in the Atlantic for 300 years. Today, in fact, it is distributed in the north of the Pacific: Alaska and the arctic zone, where specimens search for food, and the south of the Pacific, in lower California and Mexico, where they migrate in the summer to mate". The grey whale is believed to have carried out the longest migration of a marine mammal - 22,000 kilometers.

    "The most plausible thesis is that a grey whale, due to the melting of glaciers, was able to reach the Atlantic from the arctic zone and then enter the Mediterranean through Gibraltar", concluded Airoldi. "At this point we would like to know if the one seen in Ponza is the same sighted in 2010 in Israel or a new one that, for some strange movement, still in the Pacific, reached the Mediterranean". Airoldi believes it is unlikely that grey whales have repopulated the Atlantic, where they disappeared in 1700.

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved