When the Espaço Talassa team started going to the sea, 21 years ago the opportunity came to go sea closely one of those “big fishes” imagine the surprise on the discovery that was nothing more than a blue whale, the biggest animal ever to life on heart, and this was how the first sighting of a Blue whale ocorred on the Azores, by 29 may 1997.
After that, sightings of other baleen whales like the Fin, Sei, Bryde, Humpback and even the Minke occurred on this waters during the months of april and may, since there every season during this months we fulfil the dreams of many that want to sea the oceans biggest creatures life on their natural environment.
Every season during the months of April and May, the baleen whales are migrating from the warm waters in the south, were they mate and have their young’s, to the cold north waters were they feed. During this migration they pass in the Azores and that is when we get to see them here in south of Pico island.
Because there is some food availability in these waters, they tend to stay a few days around here. The 2010 season started with a month of April with a regular number of sightings of baleen whales, but then in May something extraordinary happened, we started seeing them almost everyday, and we were so surprised that we decided to make a small statistic analyses with the data that we collect every day.
If we analyse species we can see that the 2006 season was the best regarding Blue and Fin whales sightings, 2001 was very strong on Humpback whales, 2004 on Sei whales and 2002 on Minke whales. And looking at the present season we can see that it’s a good season, but not that much different from other years like 2002, 2006, and 2007.
And we can see that this numbers are not dependent on the number of trips, since in some years with less trips we see more animals that in years with more trips (compare 2004 with 2006, for example).
The reasons for this extraordinary amount of whales around are not fully understood by us, according to the knowledge we have on this animals we can infer that it is probably due to a higher amount of krill than usual, but because we do not develop dedicated research on the food availability here we can’t be sure.
On the year of 1998 Espaço Talassa started identifying Blue whales for Richard sears, and took the picture of the first Blue whale match from the Azores to Iceland, this season, Richard was here and during his stay, until the 15 of May, 15 different Blue whales were identified, at the moment this number is still increasing.We keep in touch…