Humpback Whale Madagascar : 2017’s season ending

Indian Ocean is always the best place to watch Humpback Whale Madagascar, Reunion, Seychelles, Comoros. From June to October, Humpback Whale Madagascar migrates from Antarctica to warmer waters to breed and litter. The two last years, humpback whales were less to come in the region. But this season, they came a lot. A phenomenon that scientists tried to explain during the 2nd Humpback Whale World Congress held at the beginning of July in Reunion Island.

Love parades, jumps, breastfeeding… if this year show of humpback whale Madagascar for the Malagasy people and tourists who visit Madagascar is breathtaking, it was not the same last year. In the Sainte Marie Island canal (Eastern Madagascar) and in the Indian Ocean overall. The searchers seems to have founded an explanation.

Henri Bellon, Cetamada’s president (NGO working on Whales protection), is one of the organizer of this 2nd congress: “2015 and 2016 were two years with less Humpback Whale Madagascar as we are used to. The water was hotter these years too. Around 2°C above the usual temperature. Scientists, especially the ones from Mozambique, demonstrated that there is a correlation with the water temperature: when water is too hot, humpback whale Madagascar come less or not all.”

The El Niño climate related phenomenon is directly pointed at. It is this phenomenon that is causing water warming, coral whitening and whales distancing. Hence, during this past years, only 5% of the humpback whale population were present in the Sainte Marie Canal. This year, the water came down at 22°C, one out of two whale was with its calve. This Canal is an exceptional observing place for worldwide scientists!

“Genetic showed us that the population inside Sainte Marie canal reborn almost entirely after the genocide they suffered from. We killed 220 000 whales for about 80 years! (The last whale hunt in Sainte Marie Canal was in 1951). Today, there are very encouraging signs. The protected area that has been set up let us hope that there is a good chance this specie will survive.”

Today, the worldwide populate of humpback whales are 80 000, and 15 000 of them do travel to Madagascar. Regarding this populated area, the scientists attending the congress asked for the listing of this “Whales Road” as a UNESCO’S world Heritage.

Source : RFI 09-05-17. Boogie Pilgrim offers to travel Madagascar and watch Humpback Whales during their migration.