In 2011 a humpback whale was spotted with a buoy and net caught around its tail. The Tristan search and rescue team where quick to respond and succeeded in setting the whale free.
The humpback whale can be seen breaching out of the water with its long elegant, arm like flippers splashing as it falls grabbing your attention.
Being a migratory whale, they can travel up to 16,000 miles each year between their mating and feeding grounds. Commonly seen around Tristan during the warmer months between September – March, during its migration south to feed in Antarctic waters. Male humpbacks have impressive whale songs that can be heard during the mating season which occurs around December – May. With the average gestation period of 11 – 12 month the whale will travel to a warmer safer place to raise its young before starting the long trip back to its feeding grounds.
IUCN Status – Least concern
Length – Up to 18m
Weight – Up to 35 tons
Reproduction – Every 2-3 years
Sightings around Tristan islands – Common during September – March
Marine life on Tristan
The waters surrounding the Tristan islands are home to a diverse range of fish and invertebrates, including the commercially valuable crayfish.