Humpback whales in Pemba!

Humpback whales are passing by Pemba on their anual migration and Biodinâmica already spotted them!

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is one of the most cosmopolitan species of whales and can be found in oceans and seas around the world. It has a distinctive body shape, with a “humpback”, long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. Adults range in length from 12–16m and weigh about 36,000kg.

Humpback whales feed mostly of krill, in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth in the winter. They typically migrate up to 25,000 km each year. Mozambique is part of the ‘C’ wintering grounds of this species, along with the coasts of eastern South Africa, Madagascar (southern, western and eastern coasts), Mayotte, the Comoros and other western Indian Ocean island groups.

Humpbacks are known for breaching and other distinctive surface behaviors (such as splashing with their pectoral fins on the surface). Biodinâmica had the chance of spot as much as three small groups in the Pemba bay – close to the Maringanha lighthouse, two weeks ago, and witness these behaviors. It is a really impressive species!

If you are a whale watching enthusiastic, can still find them along the bay of Pemba (sometimes you can even see them from the beach!) until the end of the winter. Just make sure that you don’t get your boat to close, reduce your engines when approaching and turn them off when you’re at a safe and confortable distance to watch them.


Information sources:

– Encyclopedia of Life & Peter Saundry (2011). Humpback whale. eds. Hogan, C. & Cleveland, C., Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and Environment, Washington, EUA.