Our Living Seas

Humpback Whales at Silver Bank

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The Silver Bank is located 100 km north of the Dominican Republic and is a gathering point of thousands of North Atlantic Humpback Whales. They congregate every winter to mate and calve. The male Humpbacks are known for their songs, which can be very loud and complex vocalizations. The Silver Bank is a wonderful place to watch whale behavior both on the surface and under the water. The Sanctuary of the Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic was declared a whale sanctuary in 1996 and is one of three places in the world where humans can snorkel among them. There is nothing like the experience coming face-to-face with a huge 30-50 foot, 40-ton graceful whale. Looking into "the eye of a whale" touches your heart and soul like no other encounter. And although there is no further whaling in the Atlantic waters, threats of offshore oil and gas development, diminishing whale food sources, poorly managed whale-watching operation and climate change. The Dominican Republic deserves an enormous amount of credit for setting up the Humpback Whale Sanctuary.