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Dead whale found in Vistula Spit

At the end of July, the media was abuzz with information about the discovery of the body of a dead whale that had been washed ashore on the Vistula Spit near Kąty Rybackie. Workers from the Maritime Office in Gdynia and representatives of the Marine Search and Rescue Service BSR Sztutowo quickly arrived at the
Published: August 2, 2018 - 16:15
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 17:06
Dead whale found in Vistula Spit

At the end of July, the media was abuzz with information about the discovery of the body of a dead whale that had been washed ashore on the Vistula Spit near Kąty Rybackie. Workers from the Maritime Office in Gdynia and representatives of the Marine Search and Rescue Service BSR Sztutowo quickly arrived at the scene to secure and cordon off the site and remove the dead animal from the beach.

The dead whale measured about 5 metres long and weighed 3 tonnes, so we can say that it was relatively small. The specimen we dealt with in Stegna, in 2015, weighed as much as 20 tonnes! Quick action had to be taken, as the dead whale was thrown out of the sea in a state of advanced decomposition, which due to the weather conditions was progressing rapidly.

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The animal was in a condition that prevented autopsy,` one was able to collect a number of samples for further examination. Detailed measurements were also taken and taxonomic features that could help identify the animal were reviewed.

SAD_multiple_lifting

[blockquote style=”2″]”The whale was 5.25 m long, indicating its young age, regardless of what species of whalebone it was. A significant degree of decomposition, the carcass, lacking whalebone and skin on most body surfaces, made species identification difficult. The initial identification was therefore based on characteristics such as the shape of the head, length, number and position of ventral folds and the shape of the dorsal fin. – reads the IO UG Marine Station website[/blockquote].

Following comparisons of collected data and consultations, the species Balaenoptera acutorostrata – dwarf whale – was selected. This is the first recorded case of the presence of a representative of this species in Polish waters. In the Baltic Sea, the dwarf fin has been spotted about 30 times so far, mainly in waters surrounding Denmark and Germany, and less frequently in Sweden. The furthest recorded sighting was in Finland, specifically in the Gulf of Bothnia.

[blockquote style=”2″]”The dwarf fin whale is one of the most common, cosmopolitan whale species. Its abundance in the North Atlantic is estimated to be around 182,000 individuals.”[/blockquote]

Activities on the beach near Fishing Angles were carried out in cooperation with the Hel Marine Station, the Maritime Search and Rescue Service and the Fire Service.

Source: umgdy.gov.pl, hel.ug.edu.pl

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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