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Blue Whales Spotted Off San Diego Coast!

Posted on Friday, August 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm
Category: Events, For Your Entertainment

Recent forays just a few miles off the county’s shoreline have generated numerous sightings of the biggest creatures in the seas fluking and foraging near the surface.

Twenty feeding blue whales were spotted migrating off the coast of San Diego. Gray whales which are much more common, can occasionally be seen swimming into San Diego Bay and can be readily seen migrating along the local shoreline for several months each year. Blue whales are roughly twice as long as the grays and can be spotted six to ten miles off the coast filter feeding for krill, a shrimp-like animal that’s critical for supporting top predators in the food web.

The largest blue whale reported in the North Pacific was about 88 feet, with a blow reaching over 30 feet high, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service. It said adult blues in the Antarctic can reach 108 feet and can weigh more than 330,000 pounds.

Blues are found in oceans worldwide. Their populations were slashed by commercial whaling worldwide in the 20th century. In the North Pacific, the "pre-exploitation" population is estimated at 4,900 blue whales and the current estimate is at least 3,300, the fisheries service said. For information about blue whale tours offered by the Natural History Museum, visit: http://www.sdnhm.org/education/whales/#bluewhale

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