7th Right Whale Calf Spotted in Southern Waters

Photo credit: Sea to Shore Alliance, taken under NOAA permit 20556-01

CATHERINE’S ISLAND, Ga. – The good news for the North Atlantic Right Whale species continues this winter with another birth.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the 7th right whale mother-calf pair of the birthing season was sighted off St. Catherine’s Island, Georgia on February 14.

It was spotted by the Sea to Shore Alliance aerial survey team.

Researchers said it is Catalog #3270 “Pico”. She was first seen in 2002, making her at least 17 years old.

This is her second calf. Her last calf was born in 2011.

While the news is positive, whale experts said they would need to see more than 16 calves this season to have a net population gain over last year.

The species saw at least 17 mortalities in 2017 and three last year.

Last month, Center for Coastal Studies Researcher Charles “Stormy” Mayo said it was good news to hear that right whales are having calves again.

“My hope, and it’s a very deep hope, would be that there will turn out to be a lot more produced this calving year this winter,” Mayo said.

“You’ve got to produce calves and reduce the mortality, and if that happens then you are in a positive trend,” he previously said.

The trend since 2010 has been the opposite with very low birth rates and higher mortality rates.

The bulk of the right whale population spend the winter in Cape Cod Bay as pregnant females travel down to the area off Florida and Georgia.



About CapeCod.com NewsCenter

The award-winning CapeCod.com NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy