An orca sighted off the Belgian coast since Sunday morning.


An Orca has been sighted since Sunday morning off the Belgian Coast.

This marks the first sighting of an orca on the Belgian coast, according to Kelle Moreau from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

News about the orca began trickling in around 9am on Sunday. Initially, the orca was located on the border of Nieuport and Oostdunkerque, but no photographs were initially available to validate these sightings. “But now it’s absolutely certain because I am watching it myself,” adds Moreau.

Historical significance and concerns;.
The orca is now swimming southwest towards France. At one point, it had ventured dangerously close to the shore near Saint-Idesbald in Belgium, which is part of the municipality of Coxyde, but it is now swimming further from the beach.

The orca’s presence in the southern North Sea is significant as there are no previous confirmed sightings in Belgium, although reports have surfaced over recent years without solid evidence.

Moreau mentions that in 1850, an orca is believed to have been beached on the Belgian coast. Across the Dutch border, a female orca was also found beached in Zeeland’s Cadzand in October 2022.

According to Moreau, the orca spotted today is male, as determined by its fin. The reason for the orca swimming so close to the shore remains unclear.

The orca appeared to be quite thin, suggesting it may not be in good health. “We can only hope the animal does not beach itself and is simply looking for a new group,” Moreau concludes