There was some sad news this week from Suffolk when three beautiful Minke whales found dead near Felixstowe.  As always we’re not quite sure what has happened to them, however some people have suggested that they may have become disorientated  by the huge wind farms off the coast there.

The first whale was spotted lying in a mud bank at the tributary of the River Ore on the weekend.  This was discovered to be a calf,  and it is believed that the mother was washed up near Felixstowe pier.  Finally another adult whale was found dead at Harwick further down the coast in Essex.

It’s very uncommon to see dead whales beached around this stretch of coast.  It was more common for porpoises to be found, yet the coast guards stated that it’s very unusual to see dead whales here.    There are other theories apart from the wind farms which include the mud banks.  These have been thought to interfere with the whales sonar causing them to drift too near to shore.

It may well be a combination of these factors effecting the whales sonar, although wind turbines have been suspected in other areas of the world too. There is some footage available of the whales on the Local TV stations.  Try accessing BBC Suffolk through the BBC iPLayer site, you will need to change the regional settings to view that channel.  It can be difficult to access these resources if you’re outside the UK, although this post about streaming BBC News abroad could help out.

It is a sad day though, there are only about 800,000 of these whales left in the world and they would have a normal life expectancy of about 50 years.  There are some plans to call in a removal service to move the whales before they cause a health hazard.  The normal procedure is to drag the whale caracasses back out to sea where they could decompose safely.   Some fisherman have expressed concern that the bodies would be a hazard to their boats.

John Herriot

 

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