They spot a specimen of the second largest whale species in the world from La Línea.

They have sighted a specimen of the second largest whale species in the world from La Línea, along with the Marine Biology Laboratory of the University of Seville, Ecowildlife Travel, and Citizens By Planet. They have started on Wednesday the volunteer program for the sustainable observation of cetaceans, which will join the Proyecto Rorcual Común del Estrecho Oriental (Prceo) program. Thus, from the beaches of La Línea de la Concepción, they have spotted the first two whales passing through the Strait, two common rorquals, which can measure up to 23 meters in length, making them the second largest in the world.

According to Ecolocaliza, they have been sighted by the group of volunteers from Keep the Whales on the shores of La Línea, and they are the first two specimens that have been spotted in the annual migration of the Common Rorqual, the second largest whale species on the planet, as they pass from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. They are currently being tracked and monitored from La Línea.

Last year, a total of 159 whales, 300 common and bottlenose dolphins, as well as two basking sharks, were monitored and counted, as stated by Ecolocaliza in a note.

"The aim is to transmit and raise awareness among the public about the need to preserve this whale, the only baleen species regularly found in the Strait, with males measuring up to 23 meters in length and weighing nearly 80 tons, which facilitates their observation from land," explained Estefanía Martín, the project's director.

This initiative involves practical observation and sighting sessions of free-ranging common rorquals from the beaches of La Línea de la Concepción, where the observed marine mammals will be recorded. These sightings are based on a scientific methodology aimed at collecting data for quality scientific publications and improving the knowledge and conservation status of this species.

It is an activity that complements the 'Keep the Whales in La Línea' project, where several volunteers will photograph, document, and catalog the common rorqual specimens as they pass through the Strait.

Rocío Espada, a marine biologist from Ecolocaliza and co-founder of the organization, mentioned that "in this first week, there are a total of six volunteers equipped with binoculars and cameras documenting the passage of whales through the Strait of Gibraltar."

"These initial volunteers currently in La Línea are the vanguard of a total of 38 people who will support the project with their observation, cataloging, documentation, and registration activities of the whales observed from the beaches of La Línea," she added.

The migration of the Common Rorqual takes place from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic during spring and until autumn. The whales come very close to the coasts of La Línea de la Concepción and can be seen with binoculars from the shore. In addition to serving for research purposes, this project has a fundamental connection with citizen science, aiming to involve the public in the respectful and responsible observation of marine cetaceans.

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La Línea will have a new whale-watching spot next to Santa Bárbara fortress.

The City Council of La Línea has awarded a contract for the installation and assembly of an observation deck and a larger surveillance booth on the wooden walkway above Santa Bárbara fortress for whale-watching from land. The observation deck will be equipped with a pergola to provide shade for those engaged in marine mammal observation tasks.

The work has been awarded to the company Madera Iripo S.L., at a cost of 23,147 euros (including VAT), which will be fully funded by the Cepsa Foundation under an agreement with the City Council. This area will be complemented with informative signs in Spanish and English about the species that can be spotted from the La Línea beach.

Raquel Ñeco, the Councilor for the Environment, expresses gratitude to the Cepsa Foundation for their collaboration with this initiative, which is part of the municipal plan to enhance the natural resources of the municipality, particularly the activity of respectful onshore observation of marine species passing by the coast of La Línea. This work is carried out by organizations such as Ecolocaliza, Citizens by planet, and Ecowildlife, in collaboration with the City Council, as part of the Keep The Whales in La Línea project.