On Friday 9th January 2009 a large grey creature was seen wallowing in the water around the boat yard well inside the bay of Fethiye.
Fethiye’s resident marine biologist Meryem Tekin donned her wet suit and boots to examine the new arrival.
The large, grey creature was wallowing in the shallows, underneath the hulks of yachts and gulets and surrounded by the paraphernalia expected in an industrial area. Not the most accessible place to do a full examination and to instigate a rescue.
The local Zabita or Municipal Policing Authority had said it was a dolphin and the crowds of people assembled to watch the event thought the same but Tekin knew better.
Although at that stage she was not able to identify the species, she knew full well that the size, position of the dorsal fin, width of the tail and the shape of the eyes meant that this was no ‘flipper’ but rather a whale.
Later that evening, with the help of organisations and individuals from turkey and Europe, together with the massive data base of Google, it was suggested that it was a female adult Sowerby’s Beaked Whale. A species of which little is known owing to their intensely private nature, with the result that there is little or no available research. But this was a fairly wild guess owing to the position of the whale and the enveloping gloom of the shipyard.