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Rare Sighting of Whales Near Vis in Adriatic Sea

Whales near Vis were filmed last week, which resulted in great enthusiasm for visitors and locals. Everyone wanted to see them!

While whales in the Adriatic Sea are not uncommon, seeing them and being able to capture those magnificent moments on record is truly a unique and unforgettable experience.

Whales near Vis

A rare and captivating video capturing the majestic whales near Vis has been shared by Branimir Biočić shared his experience stating, “We spotted the group near Komiža. Initially, we saw a group of 3-5 individuals, followed by another group of similar size about 15 minutes later. Approximately 20 minutes after the two groups merged, we recorded around 10 individuals swimming together. They were heading from the direction of Lastovo towards Barjaci.” Biočić further added, “As we approached the first group with a drone, they disappeared into the depths and reemerged after about 10 minutes. We followed them as they were not far from us, and I was thrilled with the footage we were able to capture, an experience that can only be seen once in a lifetime.”

Whales in Adriatic Sea Captured the Hearts

Stefan Torres,who captured the footage told, “While out fishing, we were fortunate enough to witness the stunning beauty of the island of Vis from a bird’s eye view, thanks to drone footage. As we filmed the crystal-clear waters and the rugged coastline, we were mesmerized by the unforgettable sight of majestic whales in their natural habitat.”

It is worth noting that the species of whale captured in the video is the fin whale or great northern whale (Latin name: Balaenoptera physalus), which has been previously spotted in the Adriatic. This whale is the closest relative of the blue whale and is the second-largest animal on Earth.

The great northern whale, also known as the fin whale, is an endangered species and is protected by law. Their appearance in the Adriatic is usually attributed to their search for food, with their diet consisting mainly of small blue fish and plankton shrimps. The average length of a great northern whale is approximately 20 meters, with a weight of 70 tons. These whales typically live in groups of 5 to 10 animals, although before extensive whaling, groups of up to 300 individuals could be observed.


The great northern whale species is found in all of the world’s oceans, with their seasonal movements dictated by temperature changes. During the summer, they inhabit polar or moderately cold waters, while they migrate to moderately warm and tropical seas in winter. As a result of the seasonal differences between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, these whales do not encounter each other at the equator. Some zoologists classify the species into two separate subspecies: the northern fin (B.p.physalus) and the southern fin (B.p. quoyi).

Female great northern whales typically give birth to a single calf when they reach their summer feeding grounds. These calves are born at around 6.5 meters in length and weighing about 1,800 kilograms. Only one calf is born at a time. These whales reach sexual maturity at around 10 years of age and can live for over a century. 

Before extensive whaling practices began, the population of great northern whales, including both the northern and southern fin whales, numbered around 470,000. However, due to excessive hunting, the current population stands at less than 5,000, making them a critically endangered species. Although more common than their larger relative, the blue whale, the continued decline of their population is cause for concern. The American Cetacean Society estimates that approximately 40,000 great northern whales remain in the northern hemisphere, and 15,000 in the southern hemisphere. Given these alarming historical facts, observing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is a truly special experience. We hope that these creatures will continue to thrive and that people will appreciate their beauty from a respectful distance.

Visiting Croatia and the beautiful island of Vis is an experience that offers a variety of activities and sights for tourists. While the island’s stunning beaches, rich history, and delicious cuisine are well-known, the possibility of spotting a great northern whale is an added bonus. These magnificent creatures are rare and endangered, making any sighting of them a truly unforgettable experience. So, for nature enthusiasts and travelers looking for a unique adventure, a trip to Vis may just be the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of these amazing animals!

Your CTC Team

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