News: Porpoises and larger Cetaceans, (Yorkshire) August 2000


Mystery Large Marine Animal (off Yorkshire)

Can anybody help to identify the following fish/shark spotted off the East Yorkshire coastline?

The sender is not a member of this eforum so the reply should also be sent directly to the EMail address after the message.

Date;         23.10.00
Time;         3.00pm
Location;    Mappleton beach, East Yorkshire.
Weather;    Sunny, SW moderate wind, 10-13 degrees.
Tide;          Incoming.

2-3 fish moving in a southerly direction along the coastline, the first approx. 100 metres from the shoreline and the others a further 150 m out.
Both rising partially out of the water at regular intervals in a similar manner to a dolphin or porpoise.
Approx. 2-3m long with a totally black appearance. Head could not be seen clearly but both had a large dorsal fin and tail.

Everyone I have spoken to has a different opinion. So I thought I would ask those who know.

Can you help? I have seen seals regularly as I have grown up but nothing like this especially so close to the shore.

Many thanks,

Patrick Swift.
Sender: pj.swift@hedon11.freeserve.co.uk

Posted by:

Andy Horton
British Marine Life Study Society
(EMail messages are not monitored by third parties.)

British Marine Wildlife Forum (commenced 1 August 2000)
Group Home:  http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/Glaucus

With regard to the sightings off Mappleton, I am almost
certain that the mammals in question were porpoise, the
area is renown for the species, esp. Mappleton. I sat and
watched (this year) a large number (up to 60) within 10-15m
of the shore both inside and outside the rock armour
groyne.  The Holderness coastline holds one of the largest
congregations of the species found in the UK. I was just a
few miles further south that weekend and there were a
number of porpoise approx. 80 to 100m offshore.  There were
about 5 or 6 in a group moving slowly south, at a distance
they appeared black, although I suspect it would be
difficult to distiguish any lighter shade during the brief
period they surface.  In addition, to the untrained eye, it
is difficult to accurately assess the length of an animal
that only briefly shows a portion of its total body length.

We used to get pilot whales fairly close to the shore (0.5
mile) but I haven't seen for a couple of years and never as
close as 150m, although I remember when I was young we used
to camp on the sand dunes at Tunstall and early morning
watch the killer whales (Orcinus orca) which came very
close in at high water and they used to breach regularly.
I haven't seen or heard of this occurrence for a few years

hope this helps


Benthic Projects Manager
University of Hull

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Subject: Re: [glaucus] Mystery Large Marine Animal (off Yorkshire)
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