The southern Right Whale, their habitat and us
The whales by themselves:
These cetaceans are not fish, but mammals, warm-blooded animals with lungs. When they are born they feed on their mother’s milk (just as we humans do). They are marine mammals.
They have been evolving on our planet for 50 million years! In the beginning, they were land mammals. Their evolution has been fantastic
They belong to the whale family with baleen plates instead of teeth. Their food is made up mainly of crustaceans and tiny fish.
At birth, these whales weigh approximately three tonnes; when fully grown they can reach weights of up to fifty tonnes. Adults can measure up to 16 metres (52.5 feet) in length (females are a little larger than the males)
At Península Valdés
he Southern Right Whale instinctively “chose” this very special habitat apparently in the seventies. Some time afterwards, UNESCO also chose to list it as a “Natural World Heritage Site”.
Every year there are more Right Whales living and being born; the current annual growth rate of their population is 6.8%.
Over 1,100 Right Whales visit the Península Valdés area every season. The month of August draws the highest concentration of whales: almost 600 whales in both gulfs.
Although on a global level the status of the Southern Right Whale is that of a vulnerable species, the whale watching trips on boats in Golfo Nuevo are governed by official regulations that safeguard the protection of these cetaceans. (This species is not an endangered species, tourist activities, such as whale watching outings on boats, are therefore permitted)
With us – “WHALES ARGENTINA”
We have been alongside them since their beginnings in these waters of the Patagonian Sea.
We owned the first authorized vessel in Chubut, for transporting passengers on whale watching outings: this is how we have been accompanying the whales, along with travellers from all over the world.
They are a part of our lives, and we have undertaken to look out for their lives. WHALES ARGENTINA collaborates assiduously with scientific groups and protectionist organizations whose goal it is to research and preserve the whales and other cetaceans:
We make economic and logistics contributions to the “Whale Attacking Behaviours of Seagulls” project, developed by researchers of the “National Patagonian Centre” (Centro Nacional Patagónico” – CENPAT). This project endeavours to determine whether these seagull attacks on right whales are a generalized behavioural trait in the seagull population or quite the opposite, whether only a few gulls are involved. The study aims at minimizing these seagull attacks on the whales.
We provide seats* on a regular basis to the on-board observers and researchers assigned by the “EcoCentro” to the whale photo-identification programs. Our crew also participates actively in these undertakings
We collaborate with the “Península Valdés Wild Earth Foundation” (WEF-Fundación Tierra Salvaje de Península Valdés), an organization devoted to the preservation of whales and dolphins as well as of the marine environment.
The open Catamaran “Pinino VII” is especially prepared for photo-identifiers to achieve the right angles for their shots: the structure of the sails, with various platforms – the highest towering 20 metres above sea level – makes this task easier.
This type of communication and information we provide can go on once we meet each other in Puerto Pirámides and sail together. There isn’t much to tell about what a whale watching trip in this sheltered gulf of the South Atlantic feels like: you have to experience it firsthand!
Come and taste the vast Freedom of Atlantic Patagonia and climb aboard this Whale Watching Adventure. Tuning into nature makes for a truly exhilirating travel experience.
© 2006 Whales Argentina. Avistaje embarcado de ballenas – Avistaje de Ballenas. Fotos: Ricardo Cobas, Aldo Sánchez, Angel Vélez y Alexis Fioramonti