Imbituba registers first right whale calf of the 2024 season in SC

Sighting was last Wednesday (19/06/24), on Ibiraquera beach

Photos: ProFRANCA

The team of researchers from ProFRANCA (Projeto Franca Austral), in Imbituba (SC), recorded the first calf of this season, on Ibiraquera beach, last Wednesday (19). The cub is quite small, with newborn characteristics. The mother is already an old acquaintance of the team. cataloged in 2003 with the code B257, it has previously had two calves in Santa Catarina waters – in 2015 and 2021. The project registered the whale shortly after its arrival, on June 11, alone. And now, eight days later, with the newborn calf.

The researchers were surprised on May 24, with the first sightings, much earlier than in previous years. According to the most recent calculation, there are already 10 photo-identified whales, six of which are already known and four have never been registered, including one sighted in Arraial do Cabo (RJ), by the Humpback Whale Project, and two recently sighted in Ilha Bela (SP) by the Project Whales in View.

“In this group, there are at least six females. We know this because they have already had cubs on our coast, the most recent being in 2021, which completes the three-year return cycle”, explains Karina Groch, director of ProFRANCA, which is sponsored by Petrobras. In Santa Catarina, whose coastline receives the most visits from cetaceans, they have already been seen in Imbituba, Laguna, Florianópolis and Garopaba.

“They arrived earlier, which brings us joy due to their presence, which could probably be a reflection of incessant work for their conservation, as they were almost extinct 40 years ago due to unrestrained hunting”, celebrates Karina. However, she is cautious to explain this anticipation and whether the season – officially between July and November – will register a large number this year. “In addition to protecting the species, the El Niño phenomenon may also be a factor that we are already studying closely,” she explains.

And studies will be increased soon. This year, a team of 33 people – including biologists, coordinators, administrators, researchers, communicators, and interns – carries out monitoring. The mammals frequent the Brazilian coast especially to give birth to their young and breastfeed them in coves with warmer and safer waters. During the visits, several actions are carried out, including research, aerial, on-board and land monitoring, assessment of the most important coves, interaction with fishing, and the influence of the presence of these animals on the preservation of the oceans.

Photos: ProFRANCA

To know more- ProFRANCA frequently informs in its stories, on Instagram and Facebook, where right whales have been sighted. On the Project website ( there are more details on how they are identified and a map of sightings. The Project headquarters is on Praia de Itapirubá Norte, in Imbituba, has a Visitor Center - the National Right Whale Conservation Center - and is open from Tuesday to Saturday, between 9am and 12pm and from 14pm to 17pm. Imbituba also has a Historical Museum, the Whale Museum, located in Praia do Porto, the former whaling station where whales hunted in the region were processed in the past.

ProFRANCA - Austral Franca Project - is carried out by the Australis Institute and is sponsored by Petrobras and the Federal Government, through the Petrobras Socioenvironmental Program.

André Seben
Twitter @palavracom


See also other features