The existence of humpback whales in the Mediterranean Sea has been dubbed unusual, and the sea creatures visits in the area are known to have boosted in the previous 150 years. Until now, the scientists have not come up with an apparent reason why is that happening, and they considered numerous options such as disorientation, monitoring migratory routes of other species, and so on. However, a new study, published by researchers from the University of Seville, indicated that what motivates the humpback whales to enter Mediterranean waters is the search for food.
That species make long migration journeys from the poles (north and south), where their feeding regions are situated, to the equator to reproduce in the 15 DPS breeding areas.
“In the spring of 2016, a juvenile humpback whale was detected aboard a boat dedicated to the sighting of cetaceans in the area. For almost a month, it was possible to track the animal within the bay of Algeciras, carrying out a comprehensive data collection accompanied by photographs for photo-identification and tracking of the animal in the future, as well as to verify that it did not present any problem,” explained the director of the Marine Biology Laboratory of the University of Seville, Jose Carlos Garcia-Gomez.
Humpback Whales Reach The Mediterranean Sea In Search For Food
The humpback whales were observed during two consecutive days that coincided with the sea tide. During the study, the whales exhibited feeding behavior. Also, the whales were following species to prey them, such as crabs (Liocarcinus depurator), northern krill (Meganyctiphanes norvegica), and lantern fish (Myctophum punctatum).
“This event gave us a clue as to the reason for the presence of this species of whale in this sea,” the scientists reported.
“In recent years there have been changes in both climatic conditions and sea temperature, these statements being verified by many studies. If we add the exact coincidence, with the presence of the animal mentioned above, of arctic krill blooms in the Strait of Gibraltar, this could announce that, shortly, sightings of this species could increase in the Mediterranean. For this reason, it is considered imperative to implement preventive contingency plans and conservation of the same in this sea,” adds Jose Carlos Garcia.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.