Humpback Whale Spinnaker Arrives at Center for Coastal Studies


PROVINCETOWN –The remains of the humpback whale Spinnaker arrived at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown this week, and her fully articulated skeleton will be installed at the Center over the next few days.

Spinnaker was a well-known individual whose family has been monitored by researchers in the Center’s Humpback Whale Studies Program for more than three decades.

The 11 year old, 35 foot long humpback whale was named for the pattern on the underside of her tail; one straight and one curved line that together resembled a spinnaker sail.

Spinnaker spent her first summer with her mother, Palette, off Massachusetts, but later came to prefer more northerly areas of the Gulf of Maine, such as the coast of Maine and the Bay of Fundy.

On June 11, 2015, Spinnaker was found floating below a shore side cliff in Acadia National Park in Maine.

During her short life Spinnaker was freed from fishing gear by the Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response team no less than three times.

The Center for Coastal Studies was selected by the federal government as the caretaker of Spinnaker’s remains.

Her cleaned and articulated skeleton will be installed at the Center’s Hiebert Marine Laboratory in Provincetown, where she will be available to scientists for their ongoing research, and will serve as a powerful reminder to the public about the threats facing whales.

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