California News

Blue whale sightings on rise in Monterey Bay

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

An incredible number of blue whales are showing up in Monterey Bay.

Nancy Black is a marine biologist and owner of Monterey Bay Whale Watch. She calls today one of the most extraordinary whale watching days she has had in her 20 year history on the bay. Black estimates there are about 200 whales feeding from Point Sur to the Monterey Harbor.

"We don't have to go in search of them. We spot them just two miles from the harbor and many of them are coming right up to the boat," she says.

Black says they are spotting both blue whales and humpback whales. She says this is the first time since 2003 that blue whales have been seen in any sizable numbers in the Monterey Bay. Unlike humpback whales which can eat fish, blue whales only eat krill and there is an abundance of krill in the bay right now which is why the whales are showing up in droves.

The blue whale is the largest mammal on earth and each animal can eat up to four tons of krill a day.

ABC7 talked to a number of people on this morning's four hour-long Monterey Bay Whale Watch tour who said this was the experience of a lifetime. Humpback Whales are often spotted though mid-December, but Black says there's no way to know how long the large numbers of blue whales will remain in the bay.

She says "It could be days or weeks. It just depends on how long the krill lasts. They will be here as long as the food source is here."

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monterey, animal, california news, karina rusk
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