Travel Attractions

Florida Whale Watching

We can't find any commercial whale watching operations on Florida's Atlantic coast! 

This might offer an explanation

Florida's coastal waters are frequented by several species of whales. And the eastern shore is a special place for northern right whales, which come here almost exclusively to give birth during the winter.

There are only about 300 northern right whales left in the world! They are the most endangered large mammal in the world, by some accounts.

The right whale was hunted to near-extinction status.  In the last century, when whale products like baleen and blubber were in demand, right whales were a favorite.

Hunters named the right whale; it was the "right" whale to hunt because it moves slowly, travels close to shore and floats when dead.

An international accord stopped the hunting of right whales in 1935. Scientists believe the right whale population slowly recovered after that, especially after being placed on the Endangered Species List in 1973.

These days, ship strikes are a major problem for the whales. Many right whales die in ship strikes, accounting for 30% to 50% of right whale deaths. For their low population, this percentage is staggering.

Right whales have to swim 1,400 miles, give birth to a calf, they have to nurse that calf for a few months, then swim 1,400 miles back with no food."

Florida's waters don't have the whales' food source, copepods, which are tiny crustaceans that live in much colder waters, Smith said. Mature right whales eat 500,000 calories in copepods each day

You probably won't see them breach out of the water in Florida; they don't have the energy for that kind of magnificent display,

When To Go

Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and Bottlenose Dolphins can be found all year round, though sightings are best between May and September in the Bahamas - though remember to check the hurricane reports from June - October. The weather is generally calm and warm to hot.

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