Amami's Sea Creatures

Humpback Whales

During the summer months, humpback whales, who eat their sea and small fish in the area around the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, will come to the Amami Islands for breeding, childbirth and childcare in the winter. Among large baleen whales, the humpback reaches 12 to 14 meters (app. 39-46 feet) in length and weighs 20 to 30 tons (app. 22-33 tons), and it identified by its large pectoral fin. The number of whale visits to the Islands increases year by year, and whale watching from land and on board is flourishing. When the mammals breathe at the surface, they spout a 3-5 m (app. 10-16 feet) jet of air that can help watchers find them. Sometimes there is a lot of action, such as breaching the ocean surface as it jumps, or tail slapping, where the tail fins are violently struck on the surface. In breeding grounds, the males combine various types of sounds into whale song. In addition, watchers may also encounter a pair of parent and child whales spending a relaxing time in the shade of the island. In recent years, whale swims in which snorkelers can watch whales in the sea while they snorkel, has attracted many visitors to the Amami Islands.

Humpback whale breaching
photos / Katsuki Oki

Mother and child humpbacks
photos / Katsuki Oki

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