Humpback Humpback
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Journey North Information About
Humpback Whales


What conservation issue has recently arisen?
With the rise of eco-tourism, there has been a large increase in businesses that offer whale watching.
Has the increase in whale watching businesses affected whales?
The number of whale watch vessels has increased enormously. What was once an almost nonexistent business is now booming, with a substantial fleet of large vessels (about 16) and over 40 small boats bringing European and Canadian tourists out to the whales in Samana Bay and other locations. Luckily Silver Bank, where calving occurs, is too far from shore for a day's trip. The problem is greatest around Samana Bay, which is right on shoreline. Guidelines are needed like those we have in northern waters, where there are specific rules about approaching whales. For example, our rules don't allow people to dive with the whales or injure or harass them in any way. In contrast, the Dominican waters are one area where wildlife photographers are allowed to take underwater photographs.
How can I keep up with whale news on the internet?
These internet sites have great information and lots of news about whales:


What is the difference between a mile and a nautical mile? And, for those of you with a love of nautical terminology, what is a knot?
A knot is an unit of speed used by vessels/boats or aircraft. A knot being 1 nautical mile
(about 1.15 mile or 1.85 km.) per hour.
Those of you who have been studying latitude and longitude know about degrees and minutes. For mariners and oceanographers, knowing latitude and longitude is vitally important -- since there are no landmarks to guide them by. They also use the nautical mile as the unit of distance. The nautical mile is 1 minute of an arc measured along a meridian of longitude or along the equator. (The reason the equator is the only latitude parallel that can give a correct measurement is that it is the only parallel that goes through the center of the planet. The other parallels produce smaller circles that ring the planet -- for which one minute of arc would be a much smaller distance.) The nautical mile is equal to 1.85 kilometers or 1.15 miles. A knot is a term for "one nautical mile per hour." Twenty knots is twenty nautical miles per hour. Don't ever say "knots per hour" -- you'd just be repeating yourself and sounding like a landlubber.

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