Featured Image Credit: Frankie Grant / Barcroft Media
By Sarah Sharkey
Have you noticed that we have been able to show you quite a few whale sighting off the coast of California this year? It has been a crazy year for whale sighting.
Specifically in the San Francisco and Monterey bay areas. Why are we seeing such good whale watching here this season? Well, there are two reasons that we know of that are contributing: an increase in the amount of krill in the area and an increase in killer whale feeding.
Starting with the killer whale predation event that involved the killing of a grey whale calf, there have been a large number of visible killer whale predation events. This is usual according to naturalist, Gina Thomas, who said, “We don’t see the actual predation event very often.”
Not only were the large number of orcas trying to eat grey whale calves, but the humpback whales returned north a bit earlier than usual and tried to fight back. An unexpectedly sweet gesture from the gentle giant that is a humpback whale, a humpback whale was seen defending a grey whale calf from an orca pod.
A Monterey Bay Whale Watch marine biologist, Nancy Black, said, “The central California coast is in a major upwelling zone. There are only four other places in the world that are as active as this area.”
This massive amount of krill has kept the humpback whales here to feed. Black even said that this was the most krill she has seen in years. Huge amounts of krill leads to large numbers of whales. This is why we have been able to see this amount of whales this year!