Once Hunted Out in Local Waters, Pacific Whale Watch Association Captains and Naturalists Now Reporting an Explosion of Humpback Whale Sightings, Spectacular Behavior

The Pacific Northwest is considered killer whale country, but for the last several weeks in these waters, it’s been all-humpback, all-the-time. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are surfacing throughout the Sound and Straits, providing whale watchers a spectacular show and environmentalists, researchers and marine mammal scientists an up-close look at an extraordinary conservation success story.

“These sightings of humpback whales are really encouraging,” said marine zoologist Anna Hall, PhD, Science Advisor to the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA). “The population of southern British Columbia and northern Washington State was locally destroyed by commercial whaling about 20 years ago, and now they’re not only back in these waters, they’ve actually expanded their temporal use. We’re seeing them almost every day out there, sometimes doing spectacular things.”