Humpback whales sighted off Daytona Beach, Flagler Beach areas (w/video)
Volusia and Flagler counties report rare whale sightings far off shore, after a record-low number of sightings last year.
DAYTONA BEACH — Floridians are reporting rare sightings of humpback whales.
The whale sighting hotline for the Marine Resources Council has received daily calls of humpback sightings in Flagler and Volusia counties.
Both right whales and humpback whales migrate off the Florida coast.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that right whale sightings were at a record low last year and no right whale calves were reported along the Eastern Seaboard.
Wildlife officials have documented a significant increase in humpback deaths since 2016. At least 84 deaths were reported between 2016 and 2018 in the waters between Maine and Florida.
Julie Albert, who coordinates the hotline, said recent sightings were all far offshore.
Sightings were low along the Florida and Georgia coast last year. Biologists believe the right whales may have moved farther offshore.
Video of the whales is being disseminated on social media. Here's one such video posted on Facebook via Fox 13 News Tampa Bay:
This article was originally published by the Associated Press on Jan. 6, 2018.