15 Gray Whales!!!

15 North Bound 0 South Bound 7 hours

Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, high stratus layer and yellow hazy horizon. Flat, calm ocean. First sighting went through quickly without stopping. Several whales in later sightings were thin or underweight.

A trio of thin whales were milling south side of Bird Rock when a sailboat traveling south spotted them and turned back to observe (thankfully)from a safe responsible distance and the whales continued to mill.

Shallow low tide provided ample opportunities for beach goers to look for sea glass.

Large white identification patch on this gray whales dorsal hump area.

Swimmer with dolphins following close behind.

A small emaciated (severely underweight) sea lion attempting to haul out as this beach goer patiently waited until it made it up onto land.

If you see a sick or injured sea lion please CALL TO REPORT: 310-458-WILD (9453)

The California Wildlife Center asks reporters to stay with the animal to keep others at least 50 ft away until the Marine Mammal Response Team can arrive. IF you can’t stay with the animal please alert the Lifeguard to ensure the safety of the animal and other beach goers.  

Eyes above water for this spyhopping gray whale. The partly cloudy sky effected the lighting and offered different perspectives, catching some interesting contours of this underweight whales head as it went back into the water.

Second trio of thin underweight whales traveled through close to shore, side by side in synchronized breathing patterns.

A motorized inflatable boat in Pirates Cove today with gray whale passing outside Bird Rock. Unfortunately this whale traveled through. In Malibu the safe passage of whales and dolphins are protected by The Marine Life Proclamation passed in Malibu in 2014 . Please be mindful of the gray whales migration route and all marine mammals including the sea lion colony and bottlenose dolphins that rely on safe passage in the waters surrounding Point Dume and the coast of Malibu. Know the state and local laws for using motorized devices especially in Marine Protected Areas.

How does the MMPA define “harassment”?

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) lists two levels of harassment:

Level A harassment means any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance that has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild.

Level B harassment refers to acts that have the potential to disturb (but not injure) a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by disrupting behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering.

NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement works closely with other federal and state law enforcement agencies to enforce federal regulations and investigate violations when they occur.

If prosecuted, violators of the MMPA could face:

  • Civil penalties up to $11,000.
  • Up to 1 year in prison, plus criminal fines.
  • Forfeiture of the vessel involved, including penalties for that vessel up to $25,000

***NOAA Fisheries does not support, condone, approve, or authorize activities that involve closely approaching, interacting, or attempting to interact with whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, or sea lions in the wild. This includes attempting to swim with, pet, touch, or elicit a reaction from the animals.

Abundant muscles and California Anemone with at least 18 healthy looking Sea Stars in the intertidal zone at low tide today. Sea Stars have been dying due to Densovirus, a sea star wasting disease.

Low flyovers and vintage planes along the coast with lots of opportunities for good looks at the whales migrating below.

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