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Rare Whale Spotted In Jersey Waters

Credit: Donna de Gruchy

A rare Fin Whale has been seen in Jersey waters, around seven miles from shore.

Donna and Andre de Gruchy were out on their boat looking for dolphins when they made the unusual sighting.

"We we're just watching the common dolphins and suddenly there was the big blow in the distance

I looked at it, and thought 'that's not just a Minke whale, that's a big whale'."

Donna, who is a volunteer for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, says she is usually confident identifying marine species but called on some colleagues - including one in Canada - to confirm her suspicions.

"We tried to have a look a bit closer but this whale was not having any of it, and we weren't going to harass it.  I just managed to get the little footage that I did, and it is not the best for a typical ID, but having a look at a few different bits, we were able to make out that it was a Fin whale.

Once we studied the shape of the fin more and could see the white jaw line, it became apparent that it is indeed a Fin Whale."

Donna says she was so excited to see the Fin, which is thought to have been around 15m long and was heading west - out to deeper water.

"I have been waiting years to see a Minke, but to see a Fin, I just wouldn't have even imagined that would happen.

We are starting to see the odd whale every now and again.  Usually they would pass us by from Bay of Biscay up towards Cornwall and Ireland, but for some reason there have been a couple recently that have come (closer) in."

There are only an estimated 100,000 Fin whales in the wild.

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