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A nice day with Humpback whales | 2 Humpbacks, 20 Bottlenose dolphin

Gray skies continued today as we traversed the Santa Barbara Channel.

We trekked towards the same feeding ground where the whales had been hanging out for the past couple of weeks. Here, we found 2 humpback whales. The first displayed a mostly white tail with some scratches and barnacle marks. It was a sub-adult traversing the northbound shipping lane. The second whale was found in the separation zone, closer to the southbound lane. A large container ship passed by only missing the whale by a couple hundred yards. We stayed on the scene to document the close pass.

The whales of the world are always in danger of being run over by large ships. The whales in the Santa Barbara channel are even more susceptible as a couple of large shipping lanes traverse right through the middle of the channel. This also happens to coincide with a very active feeding spot for blues and humpbacks. A voluntary vessel speed reduction program is in place in the channel, limiting vessels that participate to 10 knots. However, it is voluntary and doesn't have a lot of teeth at the moment. This vessel pictured here was going ~13 knots. It is just one of the many major threats the whales of the world face on a daily basis.

Find out more about this program below :

Until Next Time,

The SBWW Crew

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