Compartir esta página!

X

Comparte esta página con tus amigos en las redes sociales:

Pasar a
Pasar a

La traducción al español de esta página estará disponible próximamente.

Extent of whale and dolphin watching

Spain’s waters offer unique opportunities to view whales and dolphins, with over 30 different species having been reported in Spain’s territorial waters in recent years. This high diversity can be attributed to the range of marine habitats that are found along Spain’s varied coastlines which border the Balearic and Andoran Seas (in the Mediterranean), the Bay of Biscay and the wider Atlantic Ocean. 

Organised whale watching occurs principally in the south of the Spanish Mainland (Tarifa and Malaga) and all seven of the Canary Islands, and to a lesser extent in the Bay of Biscay (Cantabrian Sea).  As of 2017, a total of 76 tour operators with 106 vessels of different carrying capacities offer tours throughout Spain’s territorial waters. 

The Canary Islands offer some of the most spectacular and unique whale watching opportunities in the world.  Islands of volcanic origin, they are surrounded by waters several thousand meters deep, making them the ideal location to view deep diving and oceanic species like sperm whales, and Risso’s dolphins.  The islands also host resident populations of short-finned pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins.

Target species, peak times of year and locations:

Weather and sea conditions in the Canary Islands are conducive to year-round whale watching, and on average it is possible to participate in a whale watching excursion on on 8 out of 10 days.  Success rates in finding whales or dolphins on these tours is generally high for the resident pilot whale and bottlenose dolphins, and other species may be seen depending on the time of year, especially in May and June.  While all of the species below have been recorded in Spain’s waters, a bold cross indicates the species that are the most likely to be observed on whale watching tours.

Volver al comienzo ↑

Species

Canary Isands

Mediterranean

Platform

Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis)

X

X

motorized boat

Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus)

X

X

motorized boat

Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus)

X

X

motorized boat

Minke whale (Balaenoptera. Acutorostrata)

X

X

motorized boat

Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni)

X

 

motorized boat

Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis)

X

X

motorized boat

North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis)

X

 

motorized boat

Pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata)

X

 

motorized boat

Short finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)

X

 

motorized boat

Long finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas)

X

X

motorized boat

Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus)

X

X

motorized boat

Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

X

 

motorized boat

Killer whale (Orcinus orca)

X

X

motorized boat

Sperm whale (Physeter microcephalus)

X

X

motorized boat

Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)

X

 

motorized boat

False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens)

X

X

motorized boat

Rough toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis)

X

 

motorized boat

Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba)

X

X

motorized boat

Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis)

X

 

motorized boat

Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris)

X

 

motorized boat

Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

X

X

motorized boat

Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris)

X

X

motorized boat

Additional information about whale and dolphin watching in Spain can be found on the following sites:

Southern Spain/Andalucia:

Canary Islands

  • Web oficial de Turismo de Tenerife, que contiene información completa y actualizada sobre  observación responsable de cetáceos en Tenerife: https://www.webtenerife.com/qu...


Volver al comienzo ↑

Regulations

Whale watching in Spanish territorial waters is regulated through REAL DECRETO 1727 /2007 (a decree issued on 21 December 2007) that establishes numerous protection measures for whales and dolphins.

The regulations include clear approach guidelines as illustrated in the figures below. These apply to boat-based whale watching as well as aerial tours.

 For more information regarding regulations and management of whale watching in Spain – please contact the Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente en Madrid.

Research on whale watching in Spain

A partnership between researchers and tour operators in La Gomera has led to the collection of a wealth of data on the whales and dolphins around the Canary Islands1-4, as well as some insights into their responses to whale watching vessels5-7, and an examination of the benefits of land-based whale watching in the Canaries8.  More detail on the management of whale and dolphin watching in the Canary Islands can be found in the case study featured on this site.

Volver al comienzo ↑

Referencias

Mostrar/Ocultar referencias
  1. Ritter, F. Abundance, distribution and behaviour of cetaceans off La Gomera (Canary Islands) and their interaction with whale-watching boats and swimmers, (1996).
  2. Ritter, F. Cetacean species off La Gomera (Canary Islands): possible reasons for an extraordinary species diversity. European research on cetaceans 15, 270-276 (2001).
  3. Ritter, F., Ernert, A. & Smit, V. in Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society (ECS) in Cadiz (Spain).  23.
  4. Smit, V., Ritter, F., Ernert, A. & Strueh, N. in Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the ECS, Stralsund, Germany.
  5. Ritter, F. Model for a Marine Protected Area designed for sustainable Whale Watching Tourism off the oceanic Island of La Gomera (Canary Islands). 37 (M.E.E.R. e.V., Berlin, Germany, 2012).
  6. Ritter, F. Boat-related behaviours of cetaceans as a tool for the development of species-specific whale watching guidelines. (MEER (Mammals Encounters Education Research) eV, Berlin, Germany, Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the ECS, Gran Canaria, Spain, March 2003, 2003).
  7. Ritter, F. Behavioural observations of rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis) off La Gomera, Canary Islands (1995-2000), with special reference to their interactions with humans. Aquatic Mammals 28, 46-59 (2002).
  8. Sollfrank, T. & Ritter, F. Watching Cetaceans from Land in the Canary Islands: Implications for the Management of Whale Watching Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the ECS, Galway, Ireland.

Volver al comienzo ↑

Compartir esta página!

X

Comparte esta página con tus amigos en las redes sociales: