Saturday, April 12, 2014

Right Whale #3546 Update & Earth Day Event

The last sighting of Catalog #3546 and calf occurred on 3 April in Cocoa Beach, confirmed by our colleague Julie Albert of Marine Resources Council. The pair travelled very little the entire day, giving us no hint of where they might appear next. Two days later, Julie relayed information from a Hotline call reporting whales in south New Smyrna Beach. Jim and Joy flew down in the Air Cam and searched the area thoroughly, saw no whales, but did see dozens of manta rays, including some of the largest we have ever observed. Mistaking manta rays for right whales has happened before with less experienced observers, so we believe that the mantas were the source of the whale reports. With more than a week passing since the last sighting, it’s becoming more likely that mother and calf may have slipped past us and are on their way north. Nevertheless, we remain ready to respond in the event the duo reappears.

“Ocean Frontiers” on Earth Day

A free screening of the full (80 minute) version of “Ocean Frontiers” is scheduled for 6:30 PM on 22 April at the Whitney Laboratory Center for Marine Studies building (where we hold our Gatherings). “Ocean Frontiers” chronicles the collaboration of some unlikely allies to devise solutions to environmental problems that benefit both the users and the ecosystems. One of the examples involves reducing ship strikes of right whales in the Northeast.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Right Whale #3546 and Calf at Canaveral Seashore

There were no phone calls yesterday alerting us to where Catalog #3546 and calf might have traveled overnight and for a good reason. Joy and Becki, flying in the Air Cam, spotted the pair about a mile-and-a-half south of the Canaveral National Seashore Headquarters, where there are
very few humans to see them. They were a scant quarter mile from the beach, in near perfect conditions, and quite active at the surface. The photo to the right is of the mother upside-down with the calf lying over top of her chest between her pectoral fins. And, yes, they were STILL headed south!