The main wish of Abrolhos visitors is to get very closer to the Jubarte Whales. (Megaptera Novaeangliae).
The Jubarte Whale is a cosmopolitan species, distributed around the oceans. They are migratory animals that move yearly from feeding areas in high latitudes to procreation areas in the tropics and sub-tropics. They procreate in Brazil (Bahia) and spend the summer next to Antarctica. They eat krills (a tiny crustacean, similar to a little shrimp). The whale can reach the size of 16 meters long and the weight of 40 tons. They’re easily recognized by white pectoral fins that are much larger than the rest of the body. The fins can reach about 1/3 (one third) of the whole size of the animal.
After 11 months of pregnancy, they deliver an only nestling, which remains being fed almost the whole year. An adult Jubarte whale delivers a baby each 3 years. But the nestling is born 3 meters long, and it can reach 3 tons and it suckles around 200 liters of milk a day.
Hunting X Tourism
The prohibition of hunting whales had started in 1987 after a decade of campaign, when organizations to protect whales rebelled against the will of business men and politicians linked to the whale industry.
The old concept that a whale only worth it for the food market, was substituted by the ecological importance recognition. Its value is an important income source for the tourism industry. Nowadays, the watching whales tourism ends in economic benefits for the local communities where it is accomplished, valuing the watching whales as a live natural resource.
According to IUCN and the Plan of Action for Brazilian Aquatic Mammals (IBAMA – 97/2001), The Jubarte Whale is sorted as being vulnerable and it’s included into the official list of Brazilian endangered species (IBAMA Bill 1522 of December 10th 1989). From an original population of 250 thousand in all over the oceans, there are only 35 thousand ones.
Get to know more about specific tours to watch the whales.
Source: Jubarte Whale Institute