Rare North Pacific Right Whale sighting in Monterey Bay
MONTEREY, Calif. (KION-TV)- On Sunday morning, a rare North Pacific Right Whale was spotted in the Monterey Bay.
The sighting took place around 9:25 a.m. on a Monterey Bay Whale Watch boat. Marine Biologist Dane McDermott was on board when those sightings took place.
McDermott told KION that the whale was swimming back north when he took the photos of the whale breaching the water. McDermott said that everyone on the boat with him could tell it was a North Pacific Right whale due to the patches of rough skin called callosities.
The callosities can be located on its head, over their eyes and around their mouth.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA), there are only 32 pacific right whales that swim along the Pacific Coast.
The north pacific right whale has distinct features that separates itself from grey whales. Colleen Talty who is a marine biologist for Monterey Bay Whale Watch says that the right whale has a v-shaped blow, callosities on the head area and distinct pec fins.
NOAA says the right whales have been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 1970. The whales have been impacted by climate change and also being entangled in fishing gear and marine debris.
Their diet mainly consists of zooplankton which also includes copepods, euphausiids and cyprids.
The Monterey Bay Whale Watch said that this is the first ever pacific right whale sighting for them since they started back in 1997.