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Nomad whale spotted back in the Strait of Gibraltar

Volunteers from the cetacean conservation group CIRCE have photographed a sperm whale that first visited the Strait of Gibraltar 18 years ago.

The whale, known as Amanita, was first seen in this area in 1998 and there have been several sightings since then.

“Sperm whales normally visit the strait between March and July, when they converge here from different points in the Mediterranean Sea to feed,” CIRCE said in a statement.

“It’s also possible to see them in autumn and winter, though to a lesser degree.”

“They feed mainly on large squid and other fish, and normally stay within the deeper parts of the strait because they hunt their food at depths of between 600 to 1,000 metres, diving for up to 30 minutes.”

There are several individual sperm whales that regularly visit the Strait of Gibraltar, although Amanita is the one that has been spotted most times.

According to CIRCE, Amanita has been seen in this region 12 times since 1998.

The whale was identified by markings on its tail fin and its skin.

But the visits to the Strait of Gibraltar are not without risk for these and other types of cetaceans.

The strait is one of the world’s busiest maritime choke points and over 100,000 ships sail through it every year.

Since 2007, a 13-knot speed limit has been in place to try and protect these mammals.

Pic by CIRCE

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