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Kick-off Season 2012

The whale watching season in the St Lawrence is just about to start and more and more boats are leaving the harbour to share the wealth of the estuary with tourists from all over the world. Unfortunately the Caribe, the research vessel of ORES, is not going to be among them. At least not until September as our project director Ursula Tscherter needs to stay in St Andrews (Scotland) to write her master thesis. However, two dedicated naturalists and photographers love to share their observations with minke whales.

Welcome back, Piccola!

The white dots of the skin rash in front
of the dorsal fin were barely
visible in 1999.

Piccola is the very first minke whale identified by ORES in this summer. The photograph taken by Renaud Pintiaux on May 16 shows a skin rash widely spreading over her left flank. This is disturbing news as our well-known minke whale Double Scoop carried the same skin rash, which developed and spread over almost 10 years. Although she seemed to be healthy over all, Double Scoop was last seen in 2008. Of course we don’t know if she died but it is rather unlikely, that a whale, which used the area year after year since 1995, suddenly wouldn’t come back if still alive.
We hope that Piccola, known since 1999, does not face the same fate. 

Hello again, Slash Eleven!

Easily identifiable from far
by the long scars on her flank.
She is one of our many whales adopted by minke whale enthusiasts, who I am sure, will be very happy to hear about her return. On May
22nd, Catherine Dubé, who loves to report her sightings to ORES identified Slash Eleven surface feeding at one of her preferred sites between S8 and S4.

Stay tuned for the minke news from the St Lawrence.