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Stop The Presses! Orcas Were Spotted!

Stewy's avatar

Animal Updates | Mammals | Whale Watching

Thursday, December 21, 2017

James S.

Fatfin the orca at sunset - popup
Fatfin the orca at sunset Korrina Guerrero, Aquarium of the Pacific

We had an amazing past couple of weeks out on the water. We just found orcas on the 19th, there’s been A LOT of humpbacks hanging around the area still, gray whales, fin whales, and lots of dolphins. The orcas were an amazing surprise on the 12:00 p.m. trip. The boat was watching a couple of fin whales when they spotted the orca off in the distance. They were traveling up along the coastline and were last spotted on the 19th near Palos Verdes. The male of the group is a fairly famous whale among orca enthusiasts; it was Fatfin (CA171B). His notable feature is his very large, wide dorsal fin, hence the name. Fatfin is a transient orca, meaning his ecotype is the mammal eating orca.

If you’re a big fan of humpbacks and fin whales, they’ve been seen in good quantities lately. The humpbacks are all feeding and have been very friendly with our whale watches. And typically in the winter we get a higher incidence of fin whale sightings. The past week has been indicative of that, multiple sightings with 2 or more fin whales. So I’d suggest coming down to Long Beach to see some whales!

We’re going to highlight our last intern of the season, Korrina, who also was lucky enough to be on the boat for the orca sighting and captured the main image used for today’s blog entry. If you see her before the end of the season make sure to say hi!

My name is Korrina and I am one of the marine mammal photo ID interns for the Aquarium of the Pacific. I recently graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife fish and conservation biology. This internship gave me the opportunity to get started on my goal of working with and protecting marine mammals and the ecosystem in which they live. I have had many incredible experiences while participating in this internship but the most memorable was seeing a humpback whale breach right in front of the boat.

Make the trip down to Long Beach for your holiday adventures and purchase a combo ticket to the Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises. It’s also Aquarium Holidays right now, so there’s even more fun and things to do once you get inside.

See you on the water!