SAN FRANCISCO—The Federal Maritime Commission issued a notice to commercial shipping companies about several dozen blue whales that were seen in the waters off the Farallones Islands on June 12 and June 13, approximately 30 miles offshore from San Francisco.

The blue whales are consuming the abundance of krill in the waters of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. According to National Geographic, “During certain times of the year, a single adult blue whale consumes about 4 tons of krill a day.”

On Saturday, June 13, the sighting of 47 blue whales in a one-hour period was reported. The sighting of 23 blue whales was reported on Friday, June 12.

Mary Jane Schramm, the Media Liaison and Public Outreach Specialist for the sanctuary said, “This is great, I’m sure that there are researchers out there, right now, among them, working under federal permit to photo identify as many as they can to get insights on what their population dynamics are and what they need to survive.”

Blue whales are the largest animals on the planet, weighing up to 330,000 pounds, and have been classified as endangered according to the Endangered Species Act, a 1973 legislation for both domestic and international conservation. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “The act aims to provide a framework to conserve and protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats.”