Blue Whales sighted offshore Kenya

Posted 1 December 2016 by NISC under Announcements & Notices • Journal: African Journal of Marine Science
Blue Whales sighted offshore Kenya

The largest mammal on earth, the Blue Whale, has been sighted in Kenyan offshore waters.

These 30 metre gentle giants were sighted on 30 occasions during a geophysical offshore seismic survey off Lamu from September 2014 to January 2015. The survey site was located 120 nautical miles north-east of Lamu in waters 2 700-4 700 metres deep and covering an area of some 6 000km2

In their short communication published in African Journal of Marine Science in 2016, Barber, Sikora and Nimak-Wood, mention that "they are the first live at-sea sightings of blue whales reported from Kenyan waters...they are likely to have been either Antarctic blue whales, Madagascar pygmy blue whales or northern Indian Ocean blue whales".
Research has shown that the number of blue whales reduced drastically following massive exploitation in the 20th century and now stand between 3-11% of the estimated population in 1911. For this reason, the species has been listed as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. 

Unfortunately, “the subspecies of blue whale recorded during the current series of observations could not be determined in the absence of acoustic or genetic studies.” In conclusion of the article, the authors state that photo-identification matching of the photographs taken during the survey, however, could help to identify links with blue whale populations in the Indian Ocean. Further survey work would be required to establish blue whale presence during the remainder of the year outside the current study period, especially during the earlier part of the South-East Monsoon.
The short communication titled “Blue whales Balaenoptera musculus in offshore waters of Kenya” can be viewed here

It has been an enriching experience working with such enthusiastic and professional people at NISC who have become more friends than business partners over the years.
- Stan Pillar, Editor of the African Journal of Marine Science (1996-2013)
The proofs look great! Thank you so much. The efficiency of the journal now is really excellent. Easy to work with, and so thorough. I appreciate it.
- Regular SAJP Author on his first interaction with NISC
Perhaps the most important change, in terms of bringing the Journal to a wider audience, has been its publishing in collaboration with the NISC (Pty) Ltd.
- Stan Pillar, Editor of the African Journal of Marine Science (1996-2013)
Since 1995, NISC has systematically built up competence and the necessary capacity in all aspects of publishing high-level research journals, with the professionalism needed to flourish in the increasingly competitive world of international research publications. No other publisher in South Africa commands the necessary technical skills, experience, competence, enthusiasm and resources to the same degree as NISC, in my view.
- Graham Baker, Editor of the South African Journal of Science (1973-2008)
The NISC partnership has benefited the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology by bringing sustainability, additional branding and marketing, a wider reach through its websites, and the added value of expertise in the very competitive world of publishing.
- Chris Stones, IPJP Editor-in-Chief since 2003