Record numbers of rare North Atlantic right whales seen in Cape Cod Bay

The Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) right whale aerial survey team spotted a record breaking 112 individual North Atlantic right whales in Cape Cod Bay on Sunday, April 9; this number may increase, as researchers are still analyzing the thousands of photographs taken during the flight.

“There are only 524 North Atlantic right whales left in the world, so for us to have one fifth of the population here in one day is truly exceptional” said Charles “Stormy” Mayo PhD, director of the Right Whale Ecology program at CCS.

The sightings included a calf born earlier this year in the waters off Georgia and Florida.  The mother’s name is Tripelago; this is her fourth calf, and the first that she has ever brought into Cape Cod Bay.

2017 calf of right whale #2614, Tripelago. CCS image, NOAA permit #19315.

Right whale subsuface feeding in Cape Cod Bay.  CCS image, NOAA permit #19315.

Right whale #3725, side feeding.  CCS image, NOAA permit #19315.