Stranded Dead Fin Whale at Ardtermon Strand, Co. Sligo

A dead, stranded 12 metre Fin whale (Balaenoptera Physalus) was reported by Jimmy & Viera Stupakova at Ardtermon Strand near Raghly, Co. Sligo on 28th November.  The second largest whale species on the planet, it is the first validated record of a fin whale in Co. Sligo.  It is also the fifth record of this species in northwest Irish waters since Irish cetacean stranding records began , according to the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group.

Despite its massive size (measuring 13m, (42ft) ) this particular whale has been classified in the juvenile and sub-adult range.  Fully grown adults can reach 20 to 22 metres.

Initial investigations indicate that the whale is not long dead and the IWDG are arranging for skin and tissue samples to be collected and sent to GMIT for analyses as part of a PhD study on fin whale ecology in Irish waters.

Sligo County Council are currently considering the best method of disposing of the massive carcass.