The Oceanographic Foundation of Valencia and the Civil Guard mobilized last Saturday to help a whale, about 17 meters and 40 tons, sighted two miles from the coast off the Valencian municipality of Cullera and who was swimming poorly, apparently due to an injury to his spine.
As reported by the entity and the armed institute in various statements, it was the call from the skipper of a boat to the Civil Guard last Saturday that put the Foundation’s rescue team on alert. The fisherman informed the agents that the whale had been in the same location for too longapproximately, about two miles from the beach of Cullera.
Through the 112 and the Stranding Network of the Valencian Community, the aquarium’s veterinarians and biologists traveled to the area to make a complete evaluation of the animalwhich was apparently entangled and close to the lighthouse area.
[Desmontando el mito: el corazón de una ballena azul pesa lo mismo que un león]
The Civil Guard Patrol Boat made it possible to approach the cetacean safely in order to observe its situation and without at any time putting both the whale and the professionals on board the boat at risk.
The Fundación Oceanogràfic team was able to verify that the animal was not entangled in any driftnet, but He suffered from a severe deviation in his spine: a scoliosis of unknown origin that completely altered his anatomy.
He #SEMAR of @Civil Guard locate a whale two miles from the beach of #Cullera. Next to #FundaciónOceanogràfic they navigated to the place, verifying that he had an injured spine.
Shortly after, the cetacean headed for the high seas. pic.twitter.com/RJb1GEb85B
— Civil Guard 🇪🇸 (@guardiacivil) March 6, 2023
The dimensions of the whale and the work in the open sea, together with the malformation it suffered, prevented the veterinarians from placing a remote tracker on it in order to obtain more detailed data on its condition, its biology and its trajectory.
A few hours later, the whale headed out to sea and moved away from the coast. However, professionals warn that it is possible that she could appear “in the coming days“due to his general condition and difficulty swimming.
For this reason, it has been alerted and coordinated with the different recovery centers and other institutions that participate in these operations in case it appears again.
In the event of the sighting or stranding of any marine animal in trouble, the professionals remind that anyone can activate the action protocol through the Emergency telephone number, 112. With this, the Fundación Oceanogràfic rescue team will travel to the area to assess the condition of the animal and take the necessary actions.
The fin whale is the second largest whale on the planet, after the blue whale, and during the summer months it can be seen in the waters of the Spanish Mediterranean. Currently, the Oceanogràfic Foundation participates in the CaboRorcual project of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) to analyze the presence, origin and threats of these animals in Cabo de la Nao and the Ibiza channel.
In this project, the Valencian Aquarium Foundation carries out the taking of biological samples and the satellite marking of these animals and has the support of the Generalitat Valenciana and the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Democratic Challenge.
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