Gentle sperm whales, active common dolphins, jumping bottlenose dolphins and mysterious Risso’s dolphins are present around the islands all year-round.
And spring is ideal to see the giants of the ocean: migrating baleen whales such as the biggest animal who has ever lived: the blue whales; but also fin whales and sei whales.
From Whale Hunting to Whale Watching
For about two centuries, Azorean people have had a strong cultural connection with whales. It began through whale hunting during the tough whaling times, and then through watching these magnificent animals in the wild.
Whale hunting was officially prohibited in 1982, but the last killed whale was in 1987, a sign of a protest from former whalers in Pico island.
Even though being seen as a cruel practice nowadays, whaling is part of our heritage and we learned a lot from it, being some of our current lookouts (people guiding the boats to see the whales) ex-lookouts for whale hunting.