A humpback baby boom in Southeast Alaska is good for whale watching but could be bad for the herring fleet -- the whales love herring -- and boaters who might be in danger of collisions, reports KCAW.
“The population increase in humpbacks is going gangbusters,” [says Jan Straley, Sitka WhaleFest science director and a University of Alaska professor who’s studied the marine mammals for more than 30 years].
“They are reproducing at about 6 to 7 percent a year in Southeast Alaska. So that means for every hundred whales we get six or seven more whales the next year. And their mortality rate isn’t that high, so we’re just getting more and more whales, which is a good thing, but it also comes with some problems,” she says.
The increase comes in part because the species is still recovering from commercial whaling, KCAW says. Read more: More humpbacks could cause problems