On July 23, 2022 there was the rare sighting of a blue whale during France’s Pelagis aerial SCANS 4 surveys in the Gulf of Gascogne to west about 300km off France’s Vendee region.
In the Northeast Atlantic current best estimates of the blue whale population sit at around 3000 individuals (NAMMCO 2019). The blue whale is listed as endangered by the IUCN (2018). Recent photo-ID and acoustic studies suggest that this population is increasing.
En Atlantique nord-est, sa population est estimée à environ 3 000 individus (NAMMCO, 2019) et elle est classée en « danger » par l’UICN (2018). Toutefois des travaux récents basés sur la photo identification ou l’analyse d’occurrences acoustiques indiqueraient une tendance à l’augmentation.
This blue whale was matched to the MICS NE Atlantic catalog as being whale EB377, which has previously been photographed off of southwest Ireland on September 23, 2013 and again off Pico Island, Azores on May 25, 2014 suggesting that it is a regular to waters between these areas during summer months. There have been two other matches for the Gulf of Gascogne to the Azores. The observations were made in late spring off the Azores and in early September off northern Spain again suggesting that not all blue whales necessarily migrate North to Iceland or Spitsbergen during summer months.