28-07-2012 Elding helps save 200 Long-finned Pilot Whales find their way back to deep waters!
What an incredible and inspiring day. We heard of a large pod of Long-finned Pilot whales that were close to land at Njaršvķk (near Keflavķk international Airport) that needed our help. Pilot Whales are renowned for stranding (beaching themselves) in large numbers in many places of the world, but Iceland not so many. It happened at Žorlįkshöfn in 1986 where 100 Pilot whales were found dead on the beach as residents woke up and in Njaršvķk in 1957 where 100 pilot whales were found close to the harbour and then pushed onto the beaches to utilize and also once in 1875 as far as we know so todays experience was one to go down in Elding history.
There are currently two known species of pilot whales, Long-finned Pilot Whales which is more of a cold water species and Short-finned Pilot Whales that prefers warmer waters but sometimes their ranges overlap. The Long-finned Pilot Whales can grow up to 7m long and weight just over 2000kg. They prefer deep oceanic waters mainly along the continental shelf where they feed on squid and small-medium fish like mackeral and haddock. They are usually seen in pods of 10-20 individuals but pods 100+ strong are also quite common. They have very strong family ties and thus one of the main reasons why they strand because if one becomes ill or injured and strands the others will follow.