right whales

Center for Biological Diversity

The population of the endangered North Atlantic right whale took a big hit last year with a record number found dead in Canadian waters from ship strikes and entanglements. With this year's calving season ending and no new births observed, an ongoing debate over whether Maine's lobster industry poses a mortal threat to the species is gaining new urgency.

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. - Scientists say dozens of endangered right whales have been spotted in Cape Cod Bay, but no babies have been reported yet this year.
The whales are among the most endangered marine mammals and they are coming off of a year of high mortality and low reproduction. They venture north in the spring every year to gorge on the tiny organisms that sustain them.

Peter Duley / NEFSC/NOAA

The North Atlantic right whale is the most endangered large whale species on Earth. The principal cause of right whale fatalities is entanglement with fishing gear, including lobster trap lines. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say new technology could stop these ensnarements, but some lobstermen say the cost of adopting the new gear would be prohibitive.

Woods Hole Director Michael Moore says the right whale is really in trouble, and something has to be done to stop entanglements.

Cynthia Christman / NOAA

NANTUCKET, Mass. - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is announcing a voluntary speed restriction zone south of Nantucket to protect a group of rare whales.
The federal agency said Tuesday that the restriction for mariners will be in effect through Feb. 5 to protect a group of 22 North Atlantic right whales seen south of Nantucket on Tuesday.
Right whales are among the most endangered marine mammals, and are coming off of a year of high mortality and low reproduction.

Peter Duley / NEFSC/NOAA

PORTLAND, Maine - Researchers with the federal government and the New England Aquarium say they've developed a new model to provide better estimates about the North Atlantic right whale population, and the news isn't good.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the model could be critically important to saving the endangered species, which is in the midst of a year of high mortality. The agency says the analysis shows the probability the population has declined since 2010 is nearly 100 percent.

Cynthia Christman / NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is officially launching an investigation into the unusually high numbers of North Atlantic right whale deaths this year.

NOAA has declared an "Unusual Mortality Event," after at least 13 of the rare whales have been found dead this year off New England and Canada.

BOSTON - A right whale found dead in waters near Cape Cod this week has been identified as a frequent visitor to the area that was first spotted off the Cape in 1992.
The Cape Cod Times reports the 26-year-old female whale named Couplet was identified Thursday through photos in a database at the New England Aquarium.

Accidental Deaths of Endangered Whale Threatens Its Survival

Aug 15, 2017
Peter Duley / NEFSC/NOAA

PORTLAND, Maine - Marine conservation groups say accidental deaths this year among the endangered North Atlantic right whales threaten the species survival.

Right whales are among the most imperiled marine mammals on Earth. No more than 500 of them still exist in the wild.

Biologist Regina Asmutis-Silvia says at least 12 whales have died since April, or about 2 percent of the population in just a few months.

Peter Duley / NEFSC/NOAA

PORTLAND, Maine - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says rare right whales will be considered for disentanglement from fishing gear on a "case by case basis'' in the future.
The agency suspended efforts to free whales tangled in fishing line last week after a Canadian rescuer was killed by a right whale after freeing it. It has since announced that whale disentanglement will go forward, with rescue teams resuming most operations.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it will resume most of its whale disentanglement operations. However, rescues operations for entangled right whales, a highly endangered species, will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on circumstances and the availability of responders with the highest level of training.

The agency is singling out right whales because of what NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver says is the unpredictable behavior of right whales which can be particularly challenging during rescue attempts.

Peter Duley / NEFSC/NOAA

BOSTON - Scientists say six endangered North Atlantic right whales have died in Canadian waters over the past three weeks.
North Atlantic right whales are one of the most endangered large mammals on Earth, with only about 500 still alive.
Scientists with Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium in Boston and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod say they're alarmed by the high number of deaths.

FALMOUTH, Massachusetts - Scientists on Cape Cod say they have located a pair of right whales that had been presumed dead after not being sighted for many years.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says an aerial survey team found a new right whale mother and calf feeding in the Great South Channel off of Massachusetts on Sunday.
The whale is one of two that have been added back to the population by scientists this year. The other whale was also part of a new mom and calf pair and was sighted within the last two weeks.

Expert Sees Signs of Decline in Right Whale Population

May 1, 2017
Right Whale Research / Cemter for Coastal Studies/via Associated Press

BOSTON - Those endangered North Atlantic right whales cavorting in Cape Cod Bay are fun to watch, but their frolicking doesn't tell the whole story.

Charles "Stormy'' Mayo is director of right whale ecology at the federally funded Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Mayo says ominous signs suggest the global population of 500 animals is slowly declining. This time last year, he and other experts thought the population might be incrementally rebounding.

Right whales are among the rarest creatures on the planet.

NOAA Fisheries / via Wikimedia Commons

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. - Coastal researchers in Massachusetts say they found more endangered right whales in Cape Cod Bay recently than on any one day in recent history.
A spokeswoman for the Center for Coastal Studies says researchers found 112 of the rare whales in the bay Sunday. The spokeswoman says the next highest number for one day was 96 in 2014.

By William J. Kole, The Associated Press

BOURNE, Mass. — Endangered right whales increasingly are frequenting Cape Cod Bay, enticed by the fine dining possibilities of its plankton-rich waters.

Experts tracking the majestic mammals — among the rarest creatures on the planet — say nearly half the estimated global population of 500 or so animals has been spotted in the busy bay over the past few springs.