Saturday, May 28, 2016

Right Whale Updates

On 5 May a dead right whale calf was discovered floating off the southeast corner of Cape Cod and towed to shore for a necropsy. The New England Aquarium identified the male calf as this year's offspring of Catalog #1281 (Punctuation). There were several large propellor cuts along the calf's body and the preliminary necropsy results point to possible ship strike as the cause of death. We await the results of tissue analysis to confirm if the propellor wounds occurred before or after the calf died. Punctuation and her calf were last seen in Cape Cod Bay on 28 April. The Seasonal Management Area protecting right whales in this area by requiring ships to slow down to 10 knots or less ended for the season on 30 April. This is the second of the 14 calves born this season to be lost.

If you have been at the beach between St. Augustine Pier and Ormond Beach and thought that you saw the Air Cam going by, it wasn't your imagination. We assisted the Georgia Aquarium with their manta ray research by flying surveys throughout April and May. If the weather cooperates, we might get one more in before we end on 31 May.

We made some improvements to the video of our volunteers in action this past season. The new YouTube link is: The link below has been updated, too.

The answers to this question range from the aesthetic (the world would be a lessor place without these magnificent creatures) to the moral (we have no right to wipe out a species that existed long before ours). Now, there is a very practical reason to devote time and energy to preserving whales, one that directly benefits humans, too. Watch this excellent and interesting video on the role that whales play in supporting life in the ocean: