Whales have returned to Cape Cod waters much earlier this year and have many marine scientists scratching their heads to come up with an explanation for this. It may very well be a combination of several different factors, including the higher than usual water temperature – it is some 3 to 4 degrees warmer than the average temperature measured over the last fifteen years. A more abundant food supply may also have had some impact.
To Cape Cod residents and visitors alike, there is the opportunity to see a large number of these magnificent creatures without so much as getting your big toe wet! Although catching a glimpse of the odd whale or two from the shore is always a possibility from April through October, early spring is probably one of the best times – there are currently around 40 to 50 Right Whales just off Provincetown. The Right Whale is an endangered species, and there are thought to be only three to four hundred remaining in the world. The best vantage points are likely to be Herring Cove and Race Point, where the views could be spectacular ( if you’re lucky).We are heading up there this week with some friends, and will try to pick a suitable day weather-wise and as calm conditions as we can to ensure the best possible visibility. Watch this space to see how we get on!
As well as the Right Whale, the other species of whales most commonly seen in Cape Cod waters include the Humpback and Minke. There are Sperm Whales in much deeper water further out in the ocean, and very occasionally indeed, a Blue Whale is sighted.
Finally, we should spare a thought for the dedicated people of IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and their volunteers, who work tirelessly around the world on our behalf to preserve and save animals, often from extinction. Their International HQ is here in our street in Yarmouth Port, and it is fitting that they are on Cape Cod, as they work daily to rescue stranded and injured whales, dolphins, seals and indeed any other animal you can think of. IFAW leads the world in the science of marine mammal stranding, but their efforts are multifaceted. For example, IFAW has worked successfully with the New England fishing industry to redesign the fishing nets in an effort to significantly reduce the number of fatal whale entanglements. Work such as this and IFAW’s many other campaigns need support from the public. If this is all new to you, and you care about animals and the environment on Cape Cod and beyond, please take a look at what this wonderful organisation is doing – we can all help a little so their efforts achieve an even greater impact.
We are once again offering a great whale adventure package this year and for every package sold, we shall donate $25 to IFAW. However, if this does not appeal to you, just come and see the whales for yourself from the National Seashore. Thank you.