Images recently sent in by an observer has confirmed that a minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) was sighted off Criccieth and heading towards Black Rock Sands off Porthmadog, in northern Cardigan Bay on the 27th July.
Minke whales are the most abundant of all baleen whales and are widely distributed in the UK including the northern and central North Sea as far as Yorkshire and along the Atlantic seaboard. This species is sometimes seen in the Irish Sea but mainly in the deeper central region. It is rare to see this animal within Cardigan Bay, although there have been a handful of sightings in past years.
Unfortunately on Sunday 22nd August, the body of a 7.6 metre minke whale was found washed up in a cove near Pwhelli, not far from where the animal was originally sighted. It is assumed that this is the same animal. Rod Penrose from the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme has said that the whale was a male and in a very poor condition and had likely died on the beach overnight from starvation.