The Blue Whale, largest of God’s creatures on earth today, has returned to the waters off the coast of Spain after an absence of more than 40 years. From EcoWatch:
Since 2017, there have been four sightings of three different whales off the coast of Galicia in northwest Spain. The most recent was reported August 10 by the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute (BDRI).
“We want to share with all of you the good news of the presence of the largest animal species on the planet and a symbol of the conservation of our oceans, the blue whale that one more year returns to forage in the rich Galician waters,” the BDRI wrote in an Instagram post.
Blue whales are the largest animal ever known to have lived on Earth, according to National Geographic. They can grow to be as long as 100 feet long and 200 tons in weight. However, their massive size did not protect them from being nearly hunted to extinction during the 20th century. They were protected beginning in 1966 by the International Whaling Commision, but have only slightly recovered and are still considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.
In Spain specifically, they were driven nearly to local extinction because of whaling, The Guardian explained. There were a dozen whaling ports in Galicia itself. The country finally banned the practice in 1986, when the global moratorium on commercial whaling was adopted.
On the other hand, some experts are concerned that this does not indicate a win, but a problem with the blue whales’ habitat being changed by climate change. Read the rest of the article here.