On Thursday evening, two humpback whales were seen in the Raversijde area (Ostend), stated Jan Haelters of the Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique (Royal Institute of Natural Sciences in Belgium). Initial reports were of two sperm whales. However the coastguards, who went on a quest to find the marine animals, confirmed that they were humpback whales swimming 200 metres from the coast. This species can survive more easily in shallow waters than sperm whales, Haelters stated.
Sightings of the humpback whale in the North Sea are relatively rare. The most recent previous sightings were in 2011 and 2013.
This species of whale lives mainly along the east coast of North America.