This Thursday morning, the whale in Douarnenez Bay was nowhere to be found. Stranded on Monday, September 19 on Ty an Quer beach in Ploéven (Finistère), the 12-meter-long male was able to regain deeper waters thanks to the mobilization of the NGO Sea Shepherd. Described as a “miracle”, the rescue operation was criticized by some observers who denounced the “relentlessness” of Sea Shepherd to put the whale back in the water. Because since its rescue on Monday evening, the animal has remained very close to the coast, again failing to run aground on the shore of Finistère. Since nightfall Wednesday evening, the whale has not been found.
“To those who scream hard, a whale out of water crashes under its own weight, if it hadn’t been rescued it would have died after hours/days of agony,” says Sea Shepherd on his Twitter account, before adding: “This was what had been decided before our intervention. Unacceptable in France, in 2022”. Since the rescue operation carried out overnight from Monday to Tuesday, the animal seems to be wandering in the bay of Douarnenez. “We have just passed very close to a second stranding of the whale. He approached the edge of Ris beach up to 1.20 m of water, ”said the NGO on Wednesday evening.
Followed by the activists of the association but also by the maritime authorities, the animal is the subject of constant surveillance. Wednesday evening, the Maritime Prefecture explained that “the operation of the cetacean towards the exit of the bay had not worked”. A navigation ban has been issued by the authorities. “It is forbidden to approach within 100 m of the animal”, recalls the Premar.
This is the third fin whale stranding since the beginning of September in Brittany. The first two individuals died.