Subject: Info: Sperm Whale Sighting in Eastern Mediterranean (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Tue, 23 Apr 1996 09:35:18 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 1996 23:09:11 IST
From: Oz Goffman <RHSS101@UVM.HAIFA.AC.IL>
To: Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
Subject: Sperm Whale Sighting in Eastern Mediterranean

Shalom Fellow Marmamers,

Case Report of Sperm Whale Sighting by a Yacht in the Eastern Mediterranean:

Yoram and Suzette Greenberg owners of the yacht AMONTE observed 8-10 sperm
whales for 10 minutes 5 nautical miles east of Rhodes Island on April 7th,
at 6:00 a.m. at a depth of approximately 1600 meters.  They were sailing
around the Greek Islands and their depth finder was malfunctioning--and
was constantly pinging.  The sperm whales seemed to be attracted to the
pinging, as when they turned the instrument off, the whales left the area.

The yacht was 14 meters long and they were sailing by motoring.  There
were two adult whales, each between 15-16 meters in length.  These
animals got quite close to the ship (about 4 meters) and they were
swimming with the current.

As far as we know, this is one of the first reports of a large pod of
sperm whales in this part of the Mediterranean--most other reports have
been of single whales to groups of 5 whales.

If anyone else has similar reports of sperm whales in the eastern Mediterranean
please let me know--we are trying to map out sightings of these animals
in areas where there are few reports.

Oz Goffman, IMMRAC, Israel