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Call it a 'Humpback Comeback' — here's how close the whales were spotted Thursday

These whales were so close to the border, they should have had a passport

A pod of five humpback whales was spotted Thursday, May 3 in Semiahmoo Bay. They were feeding about a mile and a half off the coast of White Rock, B.C. -- just across the U.S.-Canada border from Blaine, Washington.
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A pod of five humpback whales was spotted Thursday, May 3 in Semiahmoo Bay. They were feeding about a mile and a half off the coast of White Rock, B.C. -- just across the U.S.-Canada border from Blaine, Washington.

A pod of five humpback whales was spotted only minutes away from Blaine in Semiahmoo Bay Thursday afternoon, according to a story posted by the Peace Arch News in White Rock, B.C.

The whales were feeding only about a mile and a half off the White Rock pier, according to the story, which said about five boats from the Canadian and American sides took spectators to see the whales feed.

White Rock Sea Tour and Whale Watching was one of the boats, and they posted photos and video on their Facebook page.

According to a story published by the Puget Sound Express, in recent years we're seeing what they called a "Humpback Comeback" in the Salish Sea, with the return of the North Pacific humpback whales to inland waters. The whales were nearly decimated by commercial whaling. The story said they have recently seen large groups of active animals — as many as 15 or 20 together.

“First, as the population of humpback whales recovers to pre-whaling levels the population may be nearing the carrying capacity of the traditional northern feeding areas, with more whales exploring these southern habitats along their migration route," whale researcher Rhonda Reidy told Puget Sound Express. "Second, their sudden increase may represent shifts in oceanographic and ecological conditions, affecting the local food chain.”

Reidy said that it's a bit of a mystery what humpbacks feed on in the waters off Washington and British Columbia, as their diet usually focuses on krill and small schooling fish.

Whale watchers see humpback whales breach, vocalize and lunge feed during the summer of 2016 in the Salish Sea, waters from the San Juan Islands to Victoria, B.C. Researchers and crews with whale-watching boats report an unprecented number of sigh

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