"Overall, the preliminary analysis of the 2018 survey indicates humpback group numbers in the high hundreds, if not the low thousands. That sample passing by Cape Vidal suggests, based on an early extrapolation, that the broader humpback population in the western Indian Ocean has surged to more than 30,000 individual whales.
The estimate is considerably higher than models have predicted as the carrying capacity for the region.
“It’s a surprising number,” Harris says. Scientists still aren’t sure what accounts for the difference between the model predictions and reality."