Juvenile Humpback whale in Elliott Bay draws cheers
A juvenile Humpback whale first seen July 30, 2022 was seen in various locations around Elliott Bay on Thursday, Nov. 30. it was first seen with mother 'Smiley' number BCY0995 or CRC-17358. This was the third day it had been seen in the bay.
The King County Water Taxi slowed as it approached Seacrest Park after seeing the whale and people rushed out on the deck and could be heard cheering as the whale came to the surface and showed its fluke.
According to Kersti Muul, Wildlife Biologist, Urban Conservation Specialist "Smiley's last calf was 3 years old ,named Chip when struck by the Mukilteo ferry in July 2020"
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says "Three populations of humpback whales, known as the Central America Distinct Population Segment (DPS), the Mexico DPS, and the Hawaii DPS, occur in Washington. The Central America DPS is listed as federally endangered, and the Mexico DPS is federally threatened. In Washington, humpback whales are a state endangered species.
Abundance of this species along the U.S. west coast, including Washington, has steadily grown in recent decades. Humpback whales in the North Pacific remain vulnerable to a number of threats, including entanglement in fishing gear and marine debris, ship strikes, human-generated marine sound, the effects of climate change, and for the Central America DPS, possible issues related to small population size.
Marine mammals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal in Washington, please call the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) West Coast Region Stranding Network hotline:1-866-767-6114."