First Humpback Whale Of 2024 Identified

January 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

The WhalesBermuda team has made the first identification of a humpback whale in 2024, with the sighting of a whale that had previously been seen in 2016.

Andrew Stevenson said, “Saturday was finally a calm but overcast, chilly winter day. We spent ten hours on the water and found and identified one whale, a whale we had previously seen on April 14th, 2016. The sighting was our #1917 on its way south whereas previously we had ID’ed #1917 on its way north in April. Judie Clee made this difficult match within a short time of me sending her the ID shortly after getting home. #1917 was ‘sleeping’.

“He surfaced every half hour in the same place before sinking back down to snooze giving us three opportunities to obtain his ID before we left him to rest and catch up on his sleep. Another seven hours produced nothing, but it was nice to be on the ocean. We haven’t been able to match him to a feeding ground yet.

“On another note, we made a match to an Irish whale called Hookie. This is the first time a whale has been identified in Bermuda and Ireland but is also the first Irish whale identified in North America.

“Our #1450 has been matched to a whale called ‘Hookie’ or #HBIRL11. Hookie was photographed by WhalesBermuda crew member Camilla Stringer on our excursion out on Magical Whale on 2nd January 2015 as Hookie migrated past Bermuda on his way south to the West Indies. This is not only the first match of a Bermuda whale to Ireland, but also the first match between North America and the British Isles. It is thought that the Irish and British Isles humpbacks whales migrate to Cabo Verde in the Eastern North Atlantic, but Hookie shows us that the more we know, the more we don’t know.

“Hookie has also been seen off the French territory island of St Pierre et Miquelon off Newfoundland on June 20th and July 7th 2013 [SPM0661]. Hookie has also visited Trinity, Newfoundland numerous times in 2018 and 2021. Thanks to Padraig Whooley, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and Sea of Whales Adventures in Newfoundland and Roger Etcheberry and Joel Detcheverry in St Pierre et Miquelon and of course Camilla Stringer for taking our Bermuda ID of Hookie.”

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