There's been a rise in whale sightings off the Southern California coast recently. Here's why

Shayla Girardin Image
Wednesday, June 5, 2024
Whale sightings on the rise off SoCal coast. Here's why
Over a dozen blue whales were spotted along the Orange County coast just this week alone.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It's been a whale of a tale for tourists visiting the Southern California coast recently.

"You just don't know where to look. There's whale spouts everywhere. It's been amazing," said Jessica Rodriguez with Davey's Locker and Newport Landing Whale Watching.

Over a dozen blue whales have been spotted along the Orange County coast this week.

"We have at least 15-20 whales in our area right now. We have blue whales, we have fin whales," said Capt. Dan Salas, CEO of Harbor Breeze Cruises. "Here over the last week, blue whales have moved into Long Beach harbor like we haven't seen in years."

While whale sightings are fairly common in the summer, to see this many is rare. So why the recent increase?

"We are entering what scientists believe is a La Niña year, so we have cooler than average temperatures off the coast of California for June," added Rodriguez.

It's thanks to temperatures and treats.

"There's a tremendous upwelling from the nutrient rich waters of our area, and what it's doing is it's bring up krill right to the surface," added Salas. "The amount of krill - I don't know how the whales know. They talk to one another and put the word out that dinner is served here in Southern California."

This gives tourists and locals alike the chance to see these incredible animals up close.

While different species of whales can be seen from California year round, blue whales come up from Costa Rica to feed for the summer. If you're hoping to spot a blue whale - or several for that matter - now is the time.

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