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Rare blue whale sightings off the coast of Massachusetts
Rare blue whale sightings off the coast of Massachusetts

The heart of a blue whale is as big as some people are tall – on average 1.5 meters long. That’s a lot of heart for the largest known animal that has ever lived on Earth. It grows up to 30 meters long and weighs 90,000 to 136,000 kilograms.

Blue whales are an endangered species, but their numbers are recovering.

The Marine Mammal Center says: “There are between 5,000 and 10,000 blue whales in the Southern Hemisphere and about 3,000 to 4,000 blue whales in the Northern Hemisphere.” The center warns: “Blue whales continue to face threats in their ocean home, such as collisions with ships and impacts from marine debris and fishing gear.”

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Whalers hunted blue whales for their blubber, bringing the population almost to the brink of extinction. In 1966, the International Whaling Commission declared blue whales a global sanctuary.

On Monday, July 8, 2024, passengers and crew aboard a Gloucester, Massachusetts-based Cape Ann Whale Watch vessel spotted a blue whale approximately 10 miles off Rockport, Massachusetts.

Rare blue whale sightings off the coast of Massachusetts

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Boston’s WVCB-TV Channel 5 reported that Captain Jim Douglas, co-owner of Cape Ann Whale Watch, was surprised by the sighting.

“It’s very exciting considering we’ve only seen blue whales four times in our 46 years in the business,” Douglas said. “Our naturalists who do this every day were literally crying on the deck of the boat when they saw this, so it really gives you goosebumps.”

ABC News reports that the whale watching boat Cape Ann encountered blue whales twice during two whale watching tours on Monday.

The Center for Coastal Studies explains that blue whales usually stay hundreds of kilometers offshore, so Monday’s sightings were a rare treat.

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By Aurora