First Right Whale Mother, Calf Pair of 2023 Seen in Cape Cod Bay

Photo courtesy of the Center for Coastal Studies

HYANNIS – The first North Atlantic right whale mother and calf pair of the year was spotted in Cape Cod Bay by the Center for Coastal Studies this past Saturday, March 18.

The 21-year-old mother, named Porcia, was initially seen with her newborn off of Georgia’s coast towards the very end of 2022. They’ve now made their way to local waters, as the center’s aerial survey team identified them.

The critically-endangered mammals have been making their way to the Cape and Islands region since late December, but mother and calf pairs typically travel up the East Coast at this time of year.

The Center for Coastal Studies noted how welcome the news of a calf coming to Cape Cod Bay is, considering that the estimated right whale population stands at only 340.

Fishing gear entanglements and collisions with vessels remain two of the biggest risks for their long-term survival.

Boaters are urged to recognize speed restrictions enacted at the state and federal levels in order to mitigate boat strikes with the whales.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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