Whales Watching Season
Whale Watching Season In Georgia/Florida
The endangered Atlantic right whales have made the long trek from Canada and New England down the Atlantic Coast to waters off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Five of these right whale calves have been spotted flanked by their whale calves.
The ocean this year has not been favorable for these whales due to high winds and not unseasonably cold weather. Last year 39 babies were spotted in the entire calving zone which was a record since survey flights began in 1984.
An estimated 300-400 right whales exist since they were almost hunted to extinction. The International Whaling Commission banned the practice in 1949. The more recent threats are ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. While the regions have rules in place to protect the whales it is difficult to enforce water speeds. It takes four calves to replace one adult female right whale, so safety is extremely important.
These massive mammals weighting up to 70 tons and measuring 35-55 feet long in adulthood journey south to calm waters each year. This is the only know calving ground in the Atlantic Ocean. They begin arriving in December and stay until March or April.
Right whale with Baby Swimming on Left
Many people volunteer and are trained to identify whales and report their sightings. They can be identified by the rough, white patches of skin on their heads called Callosites. In is illegal to be within 500 yards of a right whale.
Anyone can call the hot line 1-888-979- 4253 to report a whale sighting. Among the data researchers dissect is fertility, so the mothers and babies are carefully recorded. Many people love to watch the whales and classes are held from South Carolina to Daytona Beach. To volunteer between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, contact Marineland at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-904-461-4058 .
Whale with Water Spouting
Whales near Hutchinson Island off FL coast
Whales are fascinating to watch. If you live in an area near whales don't miss the opportunity; grab your binoculars and attend a class.
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby