North Atlantic Right Whales Make First Trip of Season to Cape Cod Bay
PROVINCETOWN – The Center for Coastal Studies’ (CCS) aerial surveillance team spotted nine critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales in Cape Cod Bay, the first confirmed sighting of the species in the bay this season.
Among the whales photographed during the survey flight were whales that have visited Cape Cod Bay in the past, individually identified by natural markings as Arpeggio, Marble, and Meridian.
“I just heard from my research team that they’ve been matching whales, they’re easily identifiable. The update is that yesterday we thought we had seven, it looks like we have nine. There were two more individuals,” said Dr. Charles “Stormy” Mayo, Senior Scientist at CCS.
“This is a very special location where one of the rarest large mammals, certainly one of the rarest whales, comes each year. It looks like the season has begun.”
One of the rarest of the world’s large mammals, North Atlantic right whales visit Cape Cod Bay every winter and spring to feed on rich blooms of microscopic zooplankton.
CCS has surveyed Cape Cod waters in collaboration with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries every January since 1998. CCS started its aerial and boat surveys in late November thanks to special funding from several foundations, local businesses and individuals.