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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Balaenoptera physalus - Fin Whale

Range & Status

A world-wide migratory species, occurring in low latitudes in winter and high latitudes in summer. The Fin Whale population was severely reduced globally by modern commercial whaling and their abundance has been much reduced in the north Atlantic by late 19th and 20th century whaling. Their current status is poorly known in most areas outside the North Atlantic (including the Mediterranean Sea). Recent assessments estimate that the global population has declined by more than 70% over the last three generations (1929-2007), although it is now, probably, increasing. (Reilly et al. , 2008c). Ship-strikes are a major cause of Fin Whale mortality (UK Biodiversity Group, 1999).


Eight strandings in Cornwall: 1917 (1), 1926 (1), 1929 (1), 1930 (1), 1944 (1), 1948 (1), 2004 (1), 2008 (1).


1996 (7), 1997 (8), 1998 (4), 1999 (2), 2000 (4), 2002 (3), 2003 (1), 2004 (8), 2005 (2), 2006 (4).


Listed as Endangered (Reilly et al. , 2008c. Balaenoptera physalus . In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 18 March 2009.) A UK Biodiversity Grouped Plan species.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.