Has been a big increase in numbers of endangered blue and humpback whales along the coast of California. Driven by the unusual abundance of krill, the whales have been flocking close to shore.
En una foto sin fecha suministrada Lunes, 21 de agosto 2012, por el capitán David Anderson de Dolphin and Whale Safari en Dana Point, California, los espectadores observar ballenas frente a la costa del sur de California. Los mamiferos marinos más grandes del mundo, se están viendo en masa frente a la costa norte de California, atraídos por la abundancia de su comida favorita - camaroncitos conocidos como krill. Los tour operadores están reportando avistamiento abundante de ballenas azules, orcas, ballenas jorobadas. (Dolphin AP Photo / Capitán David Anderson y Safari de Ballenas)
In an undated photo provided Monday, Aug. 21, 2012, by Captain David Anderson's Dolphin and Whale Safari in Dana Point, Calif., spectators watch whales off the coast of southern California. Endangered blue whales, the world's largest animals, are being seen in droves off the northern California coast, lured by an abundance of their favorite food - shrimp-like creatures known as krill. Whale-watching tour operators are reporting a bumper harvest of blue whales, orcas, humpbacks and binocular-toting tourists eager to witness the coastal feeding frenzy. (AP Photo/ Captain David Anderson's Dolphin and Whale Safari)
Natural historian Jules Evens in 1988 imagined seasonal pods of Blue whales and Humpbacks wandering nearshore in central California, as Orcas (Orcinus orca) and Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) patrolled for seals. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) tended to travel close to shore, and therefore were subject to heavy whaling pressure. Whaler Charles Scammon in 1874 described them as “moving about in large numbers, scattered over the sea as far as the eye can discern from the masthead.” Some were seen passing by on migrations that were so huge they were only killed when the “bomb-guns” came into use.
Las ballenas jorobadas realizan espectacular exhibición cerca de costa de California
Martes, 21 de agosto 2012 por Stephanie Boyd
Los avistamientos de un buen número de ballenas jorobadas y ballenas azules a lo largo de la costa de California han excitado los espectadores en los últimos días , pero los funcionarios advierten a la gente mantenerse a distancia
SANTA CRUZ, CA - Ha habido un gran aumento en el número de ballenas jorobadas y azules a lo largo de la costa de California en los últimos días. Impulsada por la inusual abundancia de pequeñas criaturas semejantes a camarones conocidos como krill, las ballenas han acudido en masa cerca de la costa. Ambas especies se consideran amenazadas.
Los observadores de la Bahía de Monterrey reportaron numerosos avistamientos de un impresionante número de ballenas azules, que son los animales más grandes del planeta.
"Es fenomenal que estos seres gigantescos están ahí fuera y acaba de llegar un barco para salir a verlas" dijo Susan Stuart, residente de Santa Cruz.
Oficiales de patrulla del puerto de la zona están en alerta por el peligro potencial que las ballenas podría plantear a los nadadores y navegantes. Durante la semana pasada, en realidad hemos tenido un par de incidentes en los que la gente ha sido derribada de sus kayaks, así que estamos ahí tratando de mantener a la gente segura ", dijo Chris Weddle de la patrulla del puerto. Instó a la gente a mantener al menos a 50 metros de distancia de los grandes mamíferos , que suelen tener 40-50 pies de largo y pesar alrededor de 36.000 kg.
Humpback whales put on spectacular display near Californian coast
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
by Stephanie Boyd
Sightings of a number of humpback and blue whales along the coast of California have excited onlookers over the past days - but officials warn people to keep their distance
SANTA CRUZ, CA -- There has been a big increase in numbers of endangered blue and humpback whales along the coast of California over the past days. Driven by the unusual abundance of tiny, shrimp-like critters known as krill, the whales have been flocking close to shore.
Observers in Monterey Bay reported numerous sightings of an impressive number of blue whales, which are the largest animals on earth.
"It's phenomenal that these humongous creatures are out there and we just get to go out on a boat and go out and watch them," Santa Cruz resident Susan Stuart was quoted by CBS News as saying after a recent whale-watching cruise.
Harbor patrol officers in the area are on high alert due to the potential danger the whales could pose to swimmers and boaters.
Within the past week, we've actually had a couple of incidents where people have been knocked off of their kayaks, so we're just out there trying to keep people safe," said Harbor Patrol Officer Chris Weddle.
He urged people to keep at least 100-yeards distance from the massive mammals, which are typically 40-50ft long and weight around 79,000lb (36,000kg).
All whales are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and blue, humpback, fin and sperm whales are also listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has regulatory responsibility for implementing these laws. Whales in a national marine sanctuary are also protected under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act through the prohibition of take (to harass, hunt, capture, or kill) of any marine mammal, sea turtle, or seabird within or above the sanctuary, except as authorized by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Due to this shared legal responsibility, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and NMFS work collaboratively on a number of actions to advance NOAA's broad objectives. Both agencies also work independently on individual program goals.
Sanctuaries along the west coast, particularly the four sanctuaries in California, have undertaken the policy and management actions to protect whales from ship strike.
Local Notices to Mariners:
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - WHALES - POINT ARGUELLO TO DANA POINT
NOAA recommends that vessels transiting the area between Point Arguello and Dana Point, including the Traffic Separation Schemes in the Santa Barbara Channel and San Pedro Channel, from May through November, should exercise caution and reduce speed. These areas contain populations of endangered blue, humpback and fin whales. Collisions with these animals resulting in their injury or death is a violation of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1538 et seq.), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), and the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.).
NOAA strongly recommends that vessels 300 gross registered tons or larger transiting the Santa Barbara Channel traffic separation scheme in the area between Sandy Point, Santa Rosa Island and Point Hueneme do so at speeds not in excess of 10 knots due to whales in this area.
- Monterey Bay sanctuary worked with the Coast Guard from 1997 to 2000 to successfully relocate the IMO's recommended shipping lanes through Monterey Bay further offshore to maximize protection of the sanctuary resources while allowing for the continuation of vessel transport along the California coast. In addition, a series of recommended routes were identified and subsequently approved by the International Maritime Organization.
- Click here for a larger map.
Blue whale sightings and the proposed shipping lane shift in the Santa Barbara Channel. Click on the map for a larger view.
Blue and Humpback whale sightings from ACCESS , with the proposed shipping lane shifts in the approach to San Francisco Bay. Click on the map for a larger view.