WHERE TO SEE WHALES AND DOL­PHINS IN THE WILD

France - - Sea Life -

Bay of Bis­cay and At­lantic Coast

The Bay of Bis­cay is one of the most spec­tac­u­lar lo­ca­tions for whale watch­ing any­where in the world, with a wide va­ri­ety of species and reg­u­lar sight­ings. The best area for the larger species of whale is the zone of very deep wa­ter off the con­ti­nen­tal shelf be­tween Brit­tany and Spain. Here you can see ocean giants such as fin, blue and sei whales, sperm whales, True’s beaked whales and north­ern bot­tlenose whales, short­finned pilot whales, At­lantic white-sided and white-beaked dol­phins, Risso’s dol­phins, or­cas and false killer whales. Re­search ves­sels in this area have recorded up to 10 dif­fer­ent species in a sin­gle day. Most of these species are present be­tween May and Septem­ber, with the peak months for sight­ings be­ing July and Au­gust.

Brit­tany and Nor­mandy coasts

Bot­tlenose dol­phins and har­bour por­poises can be seen along the coasts of Brit­tany and

Nor­mandy, as well as minke whales and longfinned pilot whales, com­mon and striped dol­phins and bask­ing sharks.

The Mediter­ranean

The Pe­la­gos Sanc­tu­ary for Mediter­ranean Marine Mam­mals cov­ers an area of 87,500km2 and 2,022km of coast in the north­ern Mediter­ranean, and is shared by the wa­ters of France, Italy and Monaco. Species to be seen here in­clude the fin whale, sperm whale, Cu­vier’s beaked whale and long-finned pilot whale, as well as bot­tlenose, striped, com­mon and Risso’s dol­phin.

For more in­for­ma­tion on where to see whales, dol­phins and por­poises in Euro­pean wa­ters, take a look at this use­ful guide from The Whale and Dol­phin Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety cetacean­hab­i­tat.org/ pdf_bin/eu­ropewwguide.pdf

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