Striped dolphins and sei whales – How their faeces can help the ecosystem ?

This morning we were lucky, a weather window opened after severals days on land !

We met a group of around 300 striped dolphins foraging and playing in waves. After a while, Filipe spotted whales but they were difficult to find. Finally, after a moment we saw a whale poo patch at the surface and appeared 3 sei whales quiet close to our boat, resting after a feeding time 🙂

Whales are really important for the marine ecosystem because they help to maintain the stability of the oceans. So, how can they help ? By producing faeces ! Whales feed in deep waters and they reject their faeces at the surface. This contribution of organic matter stimulates the production of plankton wich is the first link in the food chain. As whales are migratories species, they carry the organic material with them from areas rich in food to areas that can be poorest.

The poo appears brown/orange at the surface because they principaly eat krill and shrimps. If you want to learn more about how usefull can be a whale for the ocean, we suggest you to watch this short video :

As the weather condition was not so great this morning, we could not bring our camera so pictures are from previous trips.


About Marine

Marine is Marine Biologist and was Marine Wildlife Guide at TERRA AZUL in 2017. She is now wondering the World and discovering new things! We hope soon she'll get back in touch to share, and to help update this profile.

Your thoughts on this?