In an unusual event requiring unusual measures, more than a hundred whales are currently again about around Northen California’s coast, in a view which is both a feast for the eyes and rare enough that federal officials have issued boating warnings to pilots in the area.
Over 115 fin, blue and humpback whales have been documented in the peculiar event, during a survey which lasted a little more than an hour done near Farallon Islands, as reported by the Marin Independent Journal. The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, has therefore issued an alert to both small boaters and large vessel captains to be wary of the hoard of whales and keep their required minimum distance to the animals.
Federal guidelines indicate that both fishermen and recreational boaters keep their vessels at least 90 meters away from members of the endangered species, so as to minimize the actual risk of colliding with them. Whales are protected against harassment by law under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, with the humpback, blue and fin whales being listed in the Endangered Species Act.
One of the more experienced sailors of those parts, dean of the Bay Area salmon fleet and at the same time captain of Sausalito’s Salty Lady, 80 year-old Roger Thomas has expressed his awe at the situation, stating that he’d never seen anything like in his decade-old sea career. He claimed to sight about 25 humpback and three blue whales during a sighting trip along the Southeast Farallon Islands.
At the same time, visitors at San Francisco’s Land End saw 10 humpback during a single just about a mile offshore, according to the Oceanic Society’s Nan Sincero.
According to specialists, the influx of whales comes after an abnormally high concentration of krill – a tiny crustacean not unlike a shrimp which is an important part of the blue whales’ diet – and also due to the presence of very numerous and distinct anchovies schools, which are the preferred diet of hunchback whales.
Image Source: CBS