Another Cape Right Whale Deceased

The yearling seen alive with her mother, “Pilgrim” (Catalog #4340), in Cape Cod Bay in April 2023. CREDIT: New England Aquarium/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, taken under NOAA permit #21371

HYANNIS – A North Atlantic right whale juvenile that was a common sight in Cape Cod waters has been reported deceased just off the coast of Georgia.

The 1-year-old whale was the only calf of the individual “Pilgrim,” who is often spotted in Cape Cod Bay.

The report follows another deceased whale that washed up on Martha’s Vineyard’s coast recently—both females that would have played a crucial role in the species’ survival.

That whale was confirmed to have been heavily entangled in Maine fishing gear, though the exact cause of death is still being determined by scientists.

“This latest right whale death is drawing more attention to the urgent need for implementing stronger measures to protect these animals from vessel strikes. Documenting two right whale vessel strikes in just the last month is nothing short of devastating for this critically endangered species,” said Dr. Jessica Redfern, Associate Vice President of Ocean Conservation Science in the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium in a statement.

The critically endangered animal numbers fewer than 360 individuals left in the world. Of that, only about 70 are estimated to be reproductive females. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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