Fraser's Dolphins spotted for the first time in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura waters

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 18-10-2023
  • Lanzarote
  • Photo Credit: Efe
Fraser's Dolphins spotted for the first time in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura waters

Several specimens of Fraser's dolphins (Lagenodelphis hosei) have been sighted for the first time in the eastern waters of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura by a group of researchers on a whale-watching trip involving around a hundred people.

The sighting occurred on Saturday during the trip organised by the Biosphere Reserve and guided by the Society for the Study of Cetaceans in the Canary Islands (SECAC), as reported by the Lanzarote Cabildo in a press release.

This species is characterized by its triangular and pointed fins, its distinctive colouration pattern with darker grey around its face and eyes, and its shorter but noticeable snout.

During the sighting, the group maintained its course and trajectory, making it challenging to identify the dolphins. It was only when they decided to approach the bow of the boat that the species was confirmed, marking its first appearance in the waters off the southeast coast of Lanzarote.

Upon returning to the port, attendees also observed a large group of common dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), which are easily recognizable due to the dark band that runs from their mostly black snout, dorsal area, surrounding the eye, and extends to the anal area.

Finally, the observation was completed with two specimens of Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus), known for their unmistakable bulbous head, very large dorsal fin, and greyish-white colouration resulting from interactions with other individuals or prey, which leave marks on their grey skin.

These last two species are common in the eastern waters of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, as explained by Francesca Fusar, an environmental biologist from SECAC responsible for interpreting the activity.

The area is considered a Site of Community Importance (SCI), a protected space included in the European Union's Natura 2000 network due to its rich marine biodiversity, making it a global hotspot for cetacean migration.

The excursion's objective is to raise awareness about the characteristics, peculiarities, and importance of the marine mammals inhabiting the coasts and to sensitize the public to the significance of protecting and keeping the seas and oceans clean.