Winter continued to be an active time for whales off the California coast, so much so that NOAA recently posted the following as a Notice to Mariners:
Mariners are advised that groups of gray whales are traveling within 10 km of the coast from November to June as part of their annual migration. Mariners should keep a sharp lookout and exercise caution as approximately 19,000 animals migrate along the coast during this period. Humpback whales are also being seen in greater numbers than a month ago.
Killer whales, also known as orcas, have been seen off of Los Angeles and Long Beach in the past month. These are fairly rare visitors to the region and are in the area hunting marine mammals, including sea lions and dolphins.
Please report collisions with whales, any observed injured whales, or dead whales to NOAA at 877-SOS-WHALe (877-767-9425) or to the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF Channel 16.
NOAA is asking for the public’s help in tracking whales. If you see whales, record the date and location, number of whales, species (if known) and a description of the animals, and e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.