The San Francisco Bay has recently seen an increased population of migrating whales and marine biologists say that’s not a good thing.
As gray whales make their yearly migration from Mexico to Alaska, a few will venture under the Golden Gate Bridge and spend a little time in the bay before continuing their trek north. But this year, many more are coming to the bay and staying for much longer than usual.
“Historically, one or two gray whales would temporarily pass underneath the Golden Gate Bridge during this time period. Last week alone, experts counted five entering the Bay,” said the Marine Mammal Center in a press release.
The whales are putting on a show for onlookers but marine biologists are saying this could mean trouble for the beautiful beasts. Scientists believe the mammals are starving and thus can’t make the full trip to Alaska. They are using the bay as a safe haven to find food to fuel the rest of their long journey.
Scientists have noticed that the whales look smaller than usual and after finding two dead whales last week, scientists noted that they had “a significant lack of blubber and body fat” and “a lack of content in the animal’s stomach.”
Basically, the giant whales are malnourished and desperately seeking food.
Whales who spend considerable amount of time in the San Francisco Bay have a higher risk of injury or death. With the high traffic of boats and ships, the whales are sometimes struck and fatally injured.
Scientists are yet to determine exactly why the whales are more malnourished than in recent years, but some guess the growing whale populations mean less food for the whole. With more whales, there is less food for everyone.
Either way, if you want to see the beautiful mammals in action, right now is a perfect time to catch them in the bay!