Fall Right Whale Surveys

During the winter season, Capt. Bill & Sons offer their boat to be chartered by the Whale Center of New England for their annual right whale surveys.  To explain a little more about these surveys, a word from our naturalist Mason:

Although our whale watches are over, that doesn’t mean our boat is done.  In each year since 2003, we have chartered the Miss Cape Ann in order for the The Whale Center of New England to study North Atlantic right whales.  Right whales are among the most endangered whales in the world, numbering only about 400 animals after almost a century of protection.  Until recently, their movements once they left their summering grounds in the Bay of Fundy in October were largely unknown.  However, Whale Center researchers have now documented significant numbers of right whales during this time on Jeffreys Ledge, to the northeast of Cape Ann.  Their studies include looking at where the whales are found, identifying each whale using photographs of their natural markings, and examining their prey (a series of plankton species) in the area.  Because the surveys are long (taking the boat up to 45 miles offshore at their furthest point) and the fall-winter weather is often rough and unpredictable, us researchers need the capabilities of a strong, seaworthy craft.  You can follow the progress of this years right whale surveys at the Whale Center’s right whale blog at http://www.whalecenter.org/blog.html.

Mason Weinrich
Whale Center of New England

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