Balaenoptera physalus

Range & Status

A world-wide migratory species, occurring in low latitudes in winter and high latitudes in summer. The Fin Whale population was severely reduced globally by modern commercial whaling and their abundance has been much reduced in the north Atlantic by late 19th and 20th century whaling. Their current status is poorly known in most areas outside the North Atlantic (including the Mediterranean Sea). Recent assessments estimate that the global population has declined by more than 70% over the last three generations (1929-2007), although it is now, probably, increasing. (Reilly et al. , 2008c). Ship-strikes are a major cause of Fin Whale mortality (UK Biodiversity Group, 1999).

Strandings

Eight strandings in Cornwall: 1917 (1), 1926 (1), 1929 (1), 1930 (1), 1944 (1), 1948 (1), 2004 (1), 2008 (1).

Sightings

1996 (7), 1997 (8), 1998 (4), 1999 (2), 2000 (4), 2002 (3), 2003 (1), 2004 (8), 2005 (2), 2006 (4).

Conservation

Listed as Endangered (Reilly et al. , 2008c. Balaenoptera physalus . In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 18 March 2009.) A UK Biodiversity Grouped Plan species.