• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Rare whales sighting off Skye

TWO sperm whales have been spotted off Skye in a rare sighting which may be the result of climate change, according to a marine scientist.

The ocean giants were spotted by local resident, Catherine Atkins, at the mouth of the Camus Mor by Kilmuir.

While it is not unusual to see sperm whales in isolation around the Scottish coast, Dr Peter Evans of the Sea Watch Foundation, which logs sightings, believes the appearance by the pair may be due to warmer sea temperatures.

He said: "In past decades, most records of sperm whales in British waters have been of lone adult males around Scotland mainly around the Northern Isles and the Hebrides. Increasingly, however, adolescent males have occurred in our waters, sometimes in groups of five to 10.

"Sightings of sperm whales have tended to occur mainly in summer so this sighting is notable not just for the time of year but for its inshore location. The species normally lives in waters of 1000 metres or more depth, beyond the continental shelf edge."

Last year a sperm whale spent a week in Oban Bay.

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.