The body of a 14 m long Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus, has washed ashore on a beach in Mersin Province, Turkey, on Thursday 13 May 2021. The Whale was dead when it came ashore, and was recovered by scientists from Mersin University, with support from the Coast Guard and local firefighters, with the aim of first determining the cause of the Animals death, then preparing its skeleton for display in the Mersin Sea Museum.
Fin Whales are relatively common in the Western Mediterranean, often being seen off the coasts of Spain and France, but are distinctly unusual in the Eastern Mediterranean. Many species of Whales were hunted almost to extinction in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, prior to a moratorium on almost all Whale hunting that was introduced in the 1970s. The reporting of greater numbers of dead Whales on our shores is often distressing, and can appear to be sign of more Whales dying in inshore waters, but in fact this greater number of dead Whales reflects a larger population of Whales being present offshore, and is a symptom of recovering populations.
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