Bryde’s whales sightings in Binh Dinh, Vietnam

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The whales were seen feeding around Hon Boi and Hon Trau from 1 to 3 nautical miles from the coasts of De Gi 20 days ago. Initially, a group of seven whales showed up at about 5 to 7 am.
On August 12, Deputy Director of Binh Dinh Fisheries Sub-Department contacted the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to ask for guidance on how to study and protect the whales that have just surfaced at De Gi estuary (Cat Khanh commune, Phu Cat district, Binh Dinh).

According to local authorities, 20 days ago, the whales were seen feeding around Hon Boi and Hon Trau from 1 to 3 nautical miles from the coasts of De Gi. Initially, a group of seven whales showed up at about 5 to 7 am.

37-year-old Do Thanh Toan, who works for a sea tourism business, were the first to spot the whales. On July 26, he saw two of them catching small fish like herring and anchovies. On August 4, he once again spotted seven whales in Hon Boi’s waters. They seemed to weigh from a few tons to tens of tons.

Mr. Dinh Thanh Tien, Chairman of the local People’s Committee, said the locality has never seen whales feeding near shore for as long as 20 days. In the past, most whales that washed ashore may have been injured naturally and rescued by fishermen, or died and their bodies brought ashore to be buried and worshipped as per local customs.

Authorities are warning people against traveling or fishing where the whales are feeding to not disturb their food source. Tour organizers should also keep a distance so as to not upset them.

According to the Vietnam Ocean Protection and Knowledge Forum, these are not the common blue whales but Bryde’s whales, a grayback whale genus much smaller than blue whales, that usually migrate and forage in pods.

By Ngoc Oai, Dung Nhan, Thu Huong – Translated by Tan Nghia

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