Wildlife Officers from Portsmouth based marine charity ORCA have begun their new whale and dolphin watching season, and early results on ferry services running from Portsmouth International Port have been sensational.
Six newly recruited team members are working on board Brittany Ferries Cap Finistere and Pont Aven this year and have made the charity’s earliest recorded sighting of killer whales in the Bay of Biscay.
The team spotted three of the black and white whales from the deck of Cap Finistere, around four hours north of Spain near to the continental shelf edge. The group swam close to the ferry, giving passengers a glimpse of one of the most iconic animals in the ocean. The wildlife officers even had chance to snap a couple of pictures, proving just how close the encounter had been.
ORCA says although it is not unheard of, killer whale sightings are far from common in the Bay of Biscay. This is the earliest ORCA has ever observed the species in a season. The charity is hoping that this is a sign of another amazing summer working with Brittany Ferries, and could improve on last year's record breaking list of marine mammals seen.
Portsmouth International Port is an incredible gateway to whale watching adventures. Services to Spain crossing the Bay of Biscay, one of the most important habitats for marine mammals on the planet. Wildlife Officers from ORCA work on board Brittany Ferries routes, helping passengers identify whales, dolphins and porpoises and teaching them more about them. Special whale watching mini cruises are also available during the summer months.