Cheers Erupt as Humpback Whale Calves Leap in Okinawa Main Island’s Waters During Breeding and Rearing Season

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A humpback whale calf leaps out of the water off the coast of Kadena Town, Okinawa Prefecture, on Tuesday.

It’s breeding and rearing season for humpback whales in the waters near Okinawa Main Island. The sight of whales and their calves swimming together is common, and whale-watching tours from boats are popular.

The Megaptera novaeangliae, better known as the humpback whale, reaches impressive sizes, with an average length of around 15 meters and a weight of approximately 30 tons. They migrate from Russia to Alaska, where they feed, and then move to warmer waters to breed from December to April. According to the Okinawa Churashima Foundation, which is involved in nature conservation activities in Okinawa, nearly 300 whales have been confirmed in waters near Okinawa Main Island and the Kerama Islands since January.

On Tuesday, off the coast of Kadena Town, the sight of a whale calf about 4 meters long leaping into the air was observed, eliciting cheers from tour participants.