A new study by the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) has confirmed that there is a strong presence of dolphins and whales in Maltese waters. The research, which forms part of Malta’s Assessment of Marine Waters, has shown that four species of each marine mammal were reported swimming around Malta in the latest surveys. Among them, the Sperm Whale, which is one of the largest toothed predators, was noted.
Other species of these magnificent creatures include Fin, Long-Finned Pilot and Cuvier’s Beaked whales as well as Risso’s, Common, Striped and Bottlenose dolphins. The animals are migratory, meaning they travel long distances at a time. This makes them a very rare sight for the public. They also have a tendency to swim deep beneath the surface considering their ability to stay for prolonged amounts of time underwater, making them harder to spot. However, the occasional sighting always manages to make the news, with some of the most recent being a Fin Whale last April near Gozo’s Ta’ Sanap. Longer-term monitoring is still required, reveals ERA, as it aims to take into consideration noise pollution and marine litter and their impacts on these animal populations.