Whalewatchers Get Show in Stellwagen Bank

Humpback Whale Calf

Humpback Whale Calf

PROVINCETOWN – Whalewatch boats that head out to Stellwagen Bank, the protected marine sanctuary off the coast of Provincetown, have been reporting higher than usual numbers of whales this spring.

But Charles “Stormy” Mayo, senior scientist at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, said, the number of whales is about usual for this time of year.

“It’s not at all unheard of to see what has been reported as 20 to 30 whales on an individual cruise. Sometimes we see more than that,” he said.

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Mayo said mariners are advised to be cautious around the feeding whales, allowing at least a couple hundred feet.

He said the whales that are being seen on Stellwagen Bank are mostly fish feeders, fin whales and humpbacks. “Those whales follow their food into Stellwagen and Cape Cod Bay,” he said.

There are still a few right whales in the area too, Mayo said, and because they are rare and very sensitive, boats are required by federal law to stay back at least 500 yards.