Tag Archives: RIght Whale Day

Notable Year for Right Whale Births

Knowing that there are more North Atlantic Right Whale calves this year than last (20 vs. 6) makes for good news. What makes this really interesting is that two of the calves have made first time grandmothers out of two of the whales, made Wart a great-grandmother and put 1134 in the category of most prolific, with her 9th calf. The Savannah Morning News published an article yesterday about this year’s calves and about the sightings in the Southeast region during the winter months.

North Atlantic right whales are beginning to return to Massachusetts coastal waters for feeding and gathering in ‘surface active groups‘, otherwise known as SAGs.  Perhaps the best way to see these animals is from shore, especially a place like Race Point Beach in Provincetown. Whale watch boats must maintain a distance of 500 yards from these animals, as opposed to 100 yards for all other species typically seen on local whale watches. So, the whales are more likely to be closer to the shore than they are to a boat.

North Atlantic right whale breaching in Cape Cod Bay, May 2009.  Taken by Regina Asmutis-Silvia/WDCS

North Atlantic right whale breaching in Cape Cod Bay, May 2009. Taken by Regina Asmutis-Silvia/WDC

Your New Bedford Whaling Museum will celebrate this unusual, endangered species on Monday, April 15 with our fourth annual Right Whale Day. From 10:00am – 2:00pm, with the help of our friends at Whale and Dolphin Conservation, New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance, NOAA’s Office of Education, artist/author Peter Stone, and the Museum’s High School Apprentices, we will have a right whale obstacle course, multiple craft and activity tables, a 48-foot inflatable right whale (which you can into), a right whale drawing workshop, stories, lots of information and artifacts and cake. You can also sign the petition to extend past December 9 the rule that has done a very good job of protecting these whales from ship strikes.  All of these activities are FREE.

New Film Added to Right Whale Celebration Day

Hot on the heels of its premiere last night at the New England Aquarium, the new movie Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship, will be hosted by the New Bedford Whaling Museum in the Cook Memorial Theater on Monday afternoon, April 16, 2:00pm, as a fitting finale to a day of free activities focused on the North Atlantic Right Whale.  This film features four success stories of collaboration among seemingly disparate partners to protect our ocean resources.

Of the most interest to us here in Massachusetts, was the multi-year effort to get the shipping lanes in Boston Harbor shifted to lessen by 81% the likelihood that right whales would get hit by ships.  Led by Dr. David Wiley of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, researchers, shippers, regulators and conservation organizations pulled together to protect this critically endangered species.  Staff from the SBNMS will be here as Right Whale Day participants, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the designation of the Sanctuary.  They will introduce the film at 2:00.

To borrow directly from the press release “From the troubled waters now rises a new wave of hope, of prosperity through preservation, playing out in communities across the country and intimately captured in the new film by Green Fire Productions, OCEAN FRONTIERS.” This 80 minute film is free to the general public.

For more information about the film or about Right Whale Day call Science Director Robert Rocha at (508) 717-6849 or email rrocha@whalingmuseum.org