Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Migrating gray whales put on Southland show

Baby gray whale.
Baby gray whale.
Photo by Linda Tanner via Flickr Creative Commons

With a record number of gray whale births reported in Mexico this year, whale watchers are enjoying an especially peak season for spotting cow-calf pairs as they migrate north to the Arctic.

According to the Los Alamito Patch, Mexico's Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources has counted almost 1200 whale calves and over 520 adults, resulting in the highest whale count since 1996.

While thousands of the whales have already passed through Southern California waters, sightings are still at their peak, reports Pete Thomas Outdoors, as the whales tend to travel close to the shore. The site adds that Dana Wharf Whale Watching has already logged its 400th sighting this year, a record for one season.

It is, however, a perilous trip for the whales, as gray whales are an important food source for killer whales. Ship traffic and fishing nets also present deadly obstacles along the route. Most recently, rescuers have been diligently tracking and attempting to free a gray whale caught in fishing line just off the California coast.