Whale sightings could indicate a population increase, expert says

  • In Science
  • 2023-01-26 17:11:14Z
  • By BBC

Recent sightings of whales off the coast of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly could be a good sign for marine life recovery, an expert has said.

It comes after a flurry of footage has emerged of whales and dolphins around the Cornish coast.

Katie Bellman from Cornwall Wildlife Trust said the whales spotted off Cornwall recently could be just a fraction of what was in the ocean.

She said regular annual sightings could be a sign of population increase.

'Just a glimpse'

She said: "At least three different whales were seen off Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on Tuesday alone, which is amazing, and actually that's just a glimpse of what might actually be out there."

Ms Bellman said the whale visits could be a good sign for marine life recovery.

She added: "What's really encouraging is because we're getting regular annual sightings, which were quite rare in recent years, it does suggest that we might have some kind of population increase happening, which is brilliant for marine life recovery."

Drone footage captured by Richard Brindley shows a humpback whale off the coast of St Ives.

He said: "I'd seen footage of it from the day previous and was quite surprised to see it in the bay."

After seeing a social media post saying the whale had been spotted again he "headed out to see if I could get a shot of it with the drone".

Mr Brindley said using his drone the whale was visible in the bay for about an hour.

"I've spotted dolphins many times, but it's the first time I've seen a whale. It was pretty amazing.

"It was very slow-moving, it just seemed to be doing sort of lengths of the bay."

As well as the recent whale sightings, there have also been several reports of a large pod of dolphins off the coast of Falmouth.

Mike Postons, from 3Deep Media, captured a sizeable pod of dolphins from his drone above Pendennis Point in Falmouth.

Speaking to BBC Radio Cornwall, he said: "I knew that they'd been around over the past few days, and I just decided to set out in the morning and go up to Pendennis Point in Falmouth to take a look.

"I waited there for a little while, had a coffee, couldn't really see anything going on, there were a few people sort of watching and looking out for them, so I did like a first flight with the drone and then had a good look around and I couldn't really see anything."

Mr Postons said he was contemplating heading home, but decided to fly the drone up to look for the dolphins one more time - when he spotted them.

He added: "They basically appeared kind of in between Pendennis Castle and St Mawes Castle, it was a really large pod, I don't know how many, I'm guessing around about 100 - and they sort of seemed to be circling around there.

"It was an amazing sight to see really."

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