The Marino Ballena National Park reported the beginning of the season for watching humpback whales within its perimeter. These “visits” of cetaceans will last until the end of October.
Coming from different places
Frank Garita, biologist, and cetacean expert, explained that these animals weigh more than 40 tons, which is equivalent to four elephants. The expert explained that their arrival comes from two directions: one from the waters of Antarctica, and the others from California and Oregon in the United States. Cetaceans travel up to 8,500 kilometers to reach the coast in our country and they differ from each other by their particular songs.
“To identify them, the sharp edge and the pigmentation of the tail are used, because it is the fingerprint of each whale. The southern population also stands out because the abdomen and the tail are whiter than that of the northern population,” said the biologist.
During this period, Garita explained that one of the missions is related to the mother teaching her calves about behaviors such as socialization, breathing, and other behaviors. “The jumps that we often see are performed by highly acrobatic whales and may indicate that they are releasing energy or stress, eliminating parasites or simply because they choose to play with their young,” Garita said.
Protocols and permits
In the Marine Park they have a strict protocol that contains social distancing, alcohol gel stations and hand washing, as well as the use of a mask or face shields. Regarding the observation boats, it was indicated that the boats are of less than 10 passengers, where the familiar bubbles are respected.
“Added to the above is the sustainable practice of observing distance between the boat and the whales of more than 200 meters and a silent approach with the support of specialized naturalist guides,” said the Park officials.