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Humpbacks and Hammerheads

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Animal Updates | Mammals | Whale Watching

Thursday, August 17, 2017

James S.

Humpback whale - popup
Chief (googley eyes as we call it) the humpback whale Aquarium of the Pacific

Hello whale watch friends! It’s been a little quiet for blue whales, but we’ve seen some amazing stuff on the water. Chief the humpback whale has been in town for the past few days, we spotted Bryde’s whales, minke whales, tons of birds feeding, thousands of dolphins, and even a scalloped hammerhead shark!

Our summer season is almost over and our amazing interns, Kristian, Alexis, and Alberto, will be finished with their program by the end of the month. Starting in the middle of September we’ll be onboarding more eager and bright young minds to collect our photos and data for Cascadia Research Collective. If you’ve been going on the boats, tell the interns hi and wish them good luck in their future works.

If you’ve been missing blue whales like we all have, you’ve probably wondered where they all are. John Calambokidis, lead researcher for Cascadia Research Collective, was able to comment on them. He’s mentioned how blue whales really aren’t reducing in their population significantly; they just feed in the areas where their krill are. Keep in mind that blue whales eat maybe 2 species of krill, out of the 85 known species. So the whales only want to hang out where their food is, and this year especially they’re feeding outside of our local waters.

Something really exciting happened on our trips, not only did we get to see a scalloped hammerhead, but also Bryde’s whales. Both are tropical/sub-tropical species that we may only see during our warmest months here in the So. California area. Our intern Alexis, who also spotted the great white on a whale watch, got some great photos of the hammerhead. I guess if you want to see sharks you should go out on the boat when she’s there.

Well before everyone has to go back to school or work for the fall, come on down to Long Beach and get your combo ticket to the Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises. Whale watches go out daily, but this Saturday we have a special trip planned to help our guests learn more about our urban waters. During the summers we offer the 2 hour Urban Ocean: World Port and Sealife Cruise. This occurs only once per month during the summers and lets the public explore the back areas of the port system and about how we share our local waters with aquatic animals, the birds, and our busy shipping areas. Follow this link to learn more and book your tickets for the Urban Ocean cruise.