Blue Whales become common visitors to Skjálfandi Bay
In 2006, Húsavík whale watchers saw a surge in the number of humpback whales. Two years later, even larger whales are visiting Skjálfandi Bay in record numbers.
One of the Humpback whales in Skjálfandi bay.
Why are so many oversized tourists visiting Húsavík? Alas, they are only here for the food…
The Blue Whale feeds almost entirely on krill. If larger whales are coming further into Skjálfandi Bay than we have seen before, it probably just means that they are finding their food in more shallow waters.
This may seem like a boring answer, but consider that an adult Blue Whale may filter millions of krill (more than 2 tons) through its black baleen plates each day. Skjálfandi Bay is something like an “all-you-can-eat” buffet for the whales, and they will move on when they please.
Blue whale lifting fluke before diving
The presence of large whales is generally a sign of a healthy ecosystem, so it seems that the rest of the food chain is doing its job in Skjálfandi Bay. Many unique geological features of the bay ensure that it remains an interesting place for wildlife. So even if the Blue Whales stay underwater a little bit longer, and swim a little bit faster than other whales, we should be grateful that so many of these rare animals are choosing to come to Skjálfandi Bay.
[Note to tourists: The Blue Whales have arrived on the 4th of June for the past 2 years. You might want to make your booking for the morning trip on 4th of June 2009 before tickets run out!]
Matthew Benicewicz, Húsavík Whale Museum, will also begin guiding some of North Sailing’s whale watching tours in July.