From the team at BBC Wildlife Magazine

Fisherman films rare whale in Northumberland

The deep-water whale species was seen and videoed in the North Sea.

Published: October 3, 2017 at 8:40 am
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A northern bottlenose whale, which is rarely seen in the North Sea, was filmed by a local fisherman close to the shore of Beadnell.


Trevor Walker was out fishing with his sons, Liam and Brendan, in June when they saw the whale, just metres from his boat.

“It was steaming away quite unperturbed by us,” says Walker. “We could have followed it, but we just filmed it and moved on so as not to disturb it.”

The report of the whale was sent through to the Sea Watch Foundation in late September, when Walker became aware of the charity.

The northern bottlenose whale is named after its protruding beak, and can grow up to ten metres long. This individual was between seven and eight metres.

This species is usually found in the Barents Sea, around Iceland and northwest of Norway, and sightings in the waters around the British Isles usually occur off the east coast.

They favour deep ocean trenches, and feed on squids, particularly Gonatus fabricii, herring, shrimps and deep sea fish.

“I was thrilled to see such a clear video that enabled us to confirm the reported species,” says Kathy James, sightings officer for the Sea Watch Foundation, “and it’s just amazing to see this relatively unknown creature of the deep with one of our towns in the background.”

The 'Thames Whale' which stranded opposite the Houses of Parliament in London eleven years ago, and had to euthanised by veterinarians.

Northern bottlenose whales are similar in shape to bottlenose dolphins, but much larger © Seawatch Foundation


Main image: The northern bottlenose whale was close to the Northumberland shore © Trevor Walker


Megan ShersbyEditorial and digital co-ordinator at BBC Wildlife Magazine, and

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