Whale sightings off Florida mark annual migration

Published: Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 7:47 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 7:47 a.m.

JUNO BEACH, Fla. — Endangered right whales are migrating from their summer feeding grounds off Canada to their winter homes in the Caribbean Sea.

Wildlife officials say some of the 60-foot, 100-ton marine mammals will be spotted off Florida's Atlantic beaches from now through February. The whales swim slowly and close to shore. Federal law requires people keep at least 500 yards from them.

A calf was spotted off the beaches near St. Augustine in mid-December. A fisherman spotted a right whale off Juno Beach on Friday.

There were 71 sightings of the whales off Florida waters last season.

Only about 350 to 400 right whales remain. Hunters called them the "right" whales to hunt because of their rich oil content.

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