Rare Omura’s Whale Sighted off Hualian

One of the world’s most mysterious species, the Omura’s Whale (Balaenoptera omurai) was recorded on video by whale watchers off the coast of Hualian on May 20.

The video was uploaded to Facebook, allowing a Japanese whale expert to identify the species. It is the first confirmed record of the species in Taiwan waters.

Kuroshio Ocean Education foundation spokesperson He Zile (何姿樂) said that adult Omura’s Whales grow up to 10 meters long, so the individual recorded is a juvenile.

There have been several suspected sightings in recent years, but none confirmed.

Little is known about the species as they were first recorded in the 1970s and not scientifically described until 2003.

Omura's whale
Omura’s whale photographed in waters off the coast of Hualian County, Taiwan May 20, 2017. Picture: Facebook
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