Large supergroups of Humpback whales were recently spotted gathering near Dassen Island, south of Saldanha Bay.
Dave Hurwitz of Simon’s Town Boat Company actually described the remarkable sight as something resembling salmon rather than whales.
Humpback whales seen on West Coast
According to Cape Talk, Dave estimates that between 1 500 to 2 000 animals have been scattered across the waters over the past two weeks. The whales have apparently discovered a huge amount of krill, their primary food source, which has been brought to the surface by upwelling.
He also explains that whales are in a “suspended migration” before they make their way to their breeding grounds .
Simon’s Town Boat Company took to Facebook to share the spectacular sight saying there is ‘100’s of photos to sort through’ but in the meantime shared an aerial image to give people an idea of the magnitude of the event.
We have been up the West Coast for the past fortnight & have had the enormous privilege of spending many hours with the…Posted by Simon's Town Boat Company on Monday, December 2, 2019
Others joined Dave in collecting more data on the feeding supergroups that are forming off the West Coast. In the process, they collected nearly 2000 identification photos and recorded over two hours of (very loud) underwater acoustic recordings.
3 Days of Super Group madness!Sasha and Courtney were lucky to get the chance to join Dave from Simon's Town Boat…Posted by Sea Search on Thursday, November 28, 2019
About Humpback whales
According to St Lucia South Africa, Humpbacks are famous for their haunting, melodic songs and for their ability to do acrobatic tricks in the water. The scientific name for a humpback is Megaptera novaeangliae, that means “big-winged New Englander”, for the biggest population of humpback whales are to be found near New England and best known by the Europeans. It is said that they are not the biggest whales; blue whales are the biggest. Humpbacks can grow as long as 18 meters, while weighting up to 40 tons. One of their flippers can grow up to 5 meters, known as the largest appendage in the world. They have rounded heads that are covered with knobs, better known as tubercles. A humpback’s tale is massive and may grow up to 5.5 meters wide.