Humpback Whale

WiSe Accreditation in Cornwall

Humpback Whale

The Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is becoming a more regular sighting in Falmouth, and an amazing sight it is!

The Humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins that look like wings and tubercles on its head. It is known for breaching and other distinctive surface behaviors, making it popular with whale watchers. Males produce a complex song typically lasting 4 to 33 minutes.

How to identify Humpback Whales
 Long wing-like front flippers that they often raise and slap on the surface (pectoral fins).
•  When breaching, their knobbly dorsal fin is very distinctive and not like anything else we see.
•  Adults length ranges between 14-17m and weigh up to 40 tonnes!

Humpback whales live in all oceans around the world. They travel great distances every year and have one of the longest migrations of any mammal on the planet. Some populations swim 5,000 miles from tropical breeding grounds to colder, more productive feeding grounds. Humpback whales feed on shrimp-like crustaceans (krill) and small fish, straining huge volumes of ocean water through their baleen plates, which act like a sieve.

Orcas are the main, natural predator of Humpbacks. Like other large whales, the humpback was a target for the whaling industry. Humans once hunted the species to the brink of extinction; its population fell to around 5,000 by the 1960s. Numbers have partially recovered to some 135,000 animals worldwide, while entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships, and noise pollution continue to affect the species. Humpback whales are now protected under both the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

A massive thank you to Ben Hancock-Smith for the amazing Photos!

Wildlife in Cornwall

Cornwall's warm climate and diverse marine life is all due to the Gulf Stream.

It brings warm water flowing from the South up through the Atlantic Ocean past Cornwall, which then mixes with cooler Northern waters.
Species spotted are increasing constantly as more people join our Sea Safari expeditions and as sea temperatures rise we are seeing an increasingly diverse range of marine wildlife on our boat trips.

WiSe Accredited

Prioritising the safety & wellbeing of our resident wildlife is very important to us. Our skippers adhere to strict guidelines provided by the WiSe Foundation and other conservation groups. Read about our Code of Conduct and Eco Tourism here.