Namibia: ‘Skinny’ Fin Whale Stranded Near Henties

A 14,7-METRE-LONG dead fin whale washed up on a remote beach near Henties Bay recently.

A marine mammal biologist at the Namibian Dolphin Project, Danielle Conry, on Wednesday told The Namibian that the animal was a young male, and it was “skinny”.

“It did not seem to have any external injuries [… ] All we can say is it is skinny, and this could be due to a multiple of causes,” she noted, adding that the whale might have been sick.

Fin whales are the second largest animals after the blue whale. They have a distinctive streamlined shape, with a long, slender body and a small, triangular dorsal fin. They have distinctive asymmetrical coloration, with a dark grey or black upper body and a light grey or white underside.

Fin whales are found in all the world’s oceans, but tend to prefer cooler waters and can often be seen in areas where cold and warm currents meet. They are migratory, moving between feeding and breeding grounds.

Following reports of the recent washing ashore of the whale at Henties Bay, some on social media suggested cutting up the dead animal for food. Conry, however, warned that it could be dangerous as marine mammals’ diseases can spread to people.

“I do understand people are hungry, but we do not know if this was a sick animal,” she said.