Our second blue whale sighting already, hopefully we’ll get a great year of sightings. Early blue whales don’t necessarily indicate that the summer season will be busy or light for sightings, but it’s exciting to see one none the less. We’ve also had a lot of dolphin sightings and our first humpback of the spring summer season, the last humpback sighted was in February.
As we start getting ready for the busy summer season, our new interns will be starting towards the end of this month. We’ll have Diego, Mackenzie, Nika, and Julia out on the whale watches with our naturalists and the boat crews. We’ve also been adding some new staff to our roster of naturalists to prepare for the larger numbers of whale watching enthusiasts and vacationers that will visit Long Beach.
If you haven’t heard of our data collection and photo ID internship we partner with Cascadia Research Collective to collect whale sighting data and send that information to them at the end of every year. Our project animal is the blue whale (which is why we get so excited besides how big and awesome they are), so every blue whale out interns encounter we also try to identify them against a catalog of previously identified whales. The information we can gather, the GPS coordinates, behaviors, photographs and ID’s all help to keep whale biologists updated on the dynamics of the blue whale population. Scientists use specific equations to estimate global populations based off of sighting data and identified whales. The global blue whale population is approximately 20,000 with our local population being around 2,000 blue whales.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed that the blue whales we’ve seen already this year are a good sign of things to come. But in the meantime, there’s still been a lot of whale and dolphin activity for us on the whale watches so come on down to Long Beach and visit the Aquarium of the Pacific. Purchase your combo ticket to both the Aquarium and Harbor Breeze Cruises. Whale watches board daily at 12 and 3pm.
See you on the water!