Experts: Right Whales Now Year-Round Neighbors for Cape Cod

Three North Atlantic right whales in Cape Cod Bay.
CREDIT: Brigid McKenna/Center for Coastal Studies, under NOAA research permit #19315-01

HYANNIS – Marine animal experts say that North Atlantic Right Whales have become year-round neighbors of Cape Cod and the Islands.

Scientists with the New England Aquarium said that rapidly warming waters have shifted the whales’ feeding and migration patterns more northwards in recent years.

Now the animals can be seen off the Cape and Islands coastline in every season, not just the spring and summer.

As offshore wind developments move ahead, officials with the aquarium said that careful monitoring will be necessary to understand the impacts of construction on the whales, which number less than 350 total.

They also highlighted the increase in boat traffic such developments will likely cause.

“We know that when we encroach on right whale habitats, we put more pressure on this very vulnerable species,” said Associate Scientist with the Aquarium Orla O’Brien.

“Wind energy development is an important component of combating climate change, but it must be developed in a way that protects right whales. Continuing our aerial surveys will help us document the potential effects of wind energy development on whales and find solutions for minimizing these effects.”

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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