NSRI CEO Ian Wienburg was about a mile off Granger Bay on-board a Princess this week, just before sunset, when a juvenile southern right whale swam up to the boat. He switched the engines off and grabbed his camera.
According to Oceans & Coasts (Department of Environmental Affairs) marine mammal expert, Mike Meyer, it is a juvenile Southern Right whale which is “displaying a feeding behavior.” The animal’s baleen plates can be clearly seen as its mouth is open, feeding on plankton which is strained by the bristles on the baleen. Mike says that, “The tongue then sweeps the plankton off the baleen.”
The large number of South East gales have caused plankton swarms and the whale is taking advantage of the situation.”