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Uptick in rare whale sightings off Florida coast

Last year, not many whales were sighted off Florida and Georgia.
Credit: EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images
A humpback whale navigates the waters of Monterey Bay, California, September 21, 2018.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Floridians are reporting rare sightings of humpback whales.

The whale sighting hotline for the Marine Resources Council has received daily calls of humpback sightings in Flagler and Volusia counties.

Both right whales and humpback whales migrate off the Florida coast.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that right whale sightings were at a record low last year and no right whale calves were reported along the Eastern Seaboard.

Wildlife officials have documented a significant increase in humpback deaths since 2016. At least 84 deaths were reported between 2016 and 2018 in the waters between Maine and Florida.

Julie Albert, who coordinates the hotline, said recent sightings were all far offshore.

Sightings were low along the Florida and Georgia coast last year. Biologists believe the right whales may have moved farther offshore.

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