Large dead whale in River Humber –

Large dead whale in River Humber Published:  01 November, 2007

A LARGE dead whale, about 40ft in length, has been spotted in the River Humber near Alexander Dock today. On Monday there had been some unconfirmed reports of a whale or dolphin seen in the Humber.

Medics from BDMLR attended when the first reports were received earlier this morning, they were able to ascertain that the animal floating in the water, was dead. It is not known, at this stage, what species of whale this is.

The Coastguard and Receiver of Wreck have been notified. The Coastguard are now monitoring the carcass as a ‘danger to shipping’. there are many members of the public and members of the Press on the shore viewing the carcass, which is likely to wash up as the tide recedes. The Receiver of Wreck is responsible for stranded whales, dolphins, porpoises and sturgeon as they have been ‘Fishes Royal’ since the 14th century, when Edward II created the Royal Prerogative.

Unfortunately, there are records going back many years of large whales getting into difficulties on the east coast of the UK and then stranding. These very large species, such as Sperm whales and Northern Bottlenose whales are deep diving specialists which feed on deep ocean squid and rely upon this food for their water as whales do not drink.

The North Sea, being a shallow sea, contains very little squid and these animals quickly become dehydrated and then confused perhaps by noise pollution and shipping. Often the whales then strand on the east coast especially in river estuaries such as The Humber, the Wash and the Thames Estuary. Other species of large whale, resident in the North Sea such as Humpback and Minke whales have also stranded in the Humber and due to their large size, often do not survive.

In 2006, a Humpback whale became trapped and died in a ferry port in the Humber and a Sperm whale also stranded and died near Spurn head.

In 2007, the now famous Thames whale wandered into the River Thames and shortly afterwards two Northern Bottlenose whales stranded and died near Skegness. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.