Monday, November 5, 2007

End of Season Summary

The 2007 whale watching season came to an official close for us on a very windy October 16. Even though the weather was not the best, sightings were good despite the choppy water. During the last few cruises, we watched the humpbacks as they fed at the surface on krill, a small shrimp-like crustacean. The water appeared red with the abundance of the substance much to the satisfaction of the whales!
Humpback whale feeding on krill
We do know that another whale watching company that runs a zodiac out of Tiverton was still doing cruises up until this past weekend and was reporting successful cruises. These whales have been known to stick around in the Bay of Fundy even up until December and Lobster fishermen have sighted them in January! Usually these whales migrate to much warmer waters, like the humpback whose winter breeding grounds are found in the Caribbean.
The season was the best we have ever had in 24 years of research. We have identified 169 individual humpback whales which includes 19 calves and 18 new individuals sighted by us in the Bay of Fundy. Right now, we are working on the photographs and data that were collected and organizing those to be sent to Provencetwon Center for Coastal Studies, Allied Whale, New England Aquarium and Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
We are thankful to Jooke Robbins of PCCS who helped to identify the new whales for us including a mother that we sighted in June. Jooke just identified her as Stalagmite, a whale that hasn't been seen anywhere since 1992!


Other whales identified during the last part of the season were Bat, Jurassic, Alpha, Grommet, Perimeter, Frost, Tab and 0985. (unnamed)

Be sure to check with our blog every week as we hope to post new information about the whales and any announcements throughout the winter months.