Gray Whales: A Good Year off California
Pacific gray whales are fairly plentiful off California and in their West Coast migration this year. Indeed, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) ranks the eastern North Pacific population of these whales, the ones that pass Los Angeles, as at “least concern.”
The gray whale numbers for 2015-2016 are a bit lower than those in 2014-2015, but are still robust, according to the Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project, peopled by volunteers from the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Cetacean Society, the Cabrillo Whalewatch Program and elsewhere.
“We started our official gray-whale season on December 26 and, so far, we’ve seen a gray whale every trip we’ve been out,” Dan Salas, owner of Harbor Breeze Cruises, which runs tours for nature and whale watching from San Pedro and Long Beach, said in an article in The Daily Breeze.
This is currently the 33rd year that the Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project has counted gray whales from dawn to dusk off Point Vicente throughout the migration season, December through May. On Tuesday, whale watchers with the project, sponsored by the American Cetacean Society’s LA chapter, counted more than 20 gray whales passing Palos Verdes Peninsula.
“We are well above average, but still below our record year last year,” Alisa Schulman-Janiger with the Whale Census and Behavior Project said in the article. “Last week, we had three days in a row sighting 37 or 38 gray whales, and those were rainy or windy days with low visibility.”