NOAA Researches Encounter Over 160 Whales During Aerial Survey


North Atlantic Right Whale mother and her calf, courtesy of New England Aquarium

OAK BLUFFS/NANTUCKET – Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, were treated to a fascinating sight this month when aerial crews sighted over 160 whales during a flyover above Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

During the flyover, the team recorded dozens of sei whales, humpback whales, and fin whales, as well as smaller numbers of right whales, sperm whales, and even killer whales, one of which was spotted eating another unfortunate whale.

Such mass sightings, according to conservationists are relatively rare, with most flyovers spotting about half that number of whales.

Despite occasionally gathering in large groups, the welfare of whales continues to be threatened, with six of the great whale species classified as either vulnerable or endangered.

About Matthew Tomlinson

Matt Tomlinson is a Cape Cod native studying to be a documentarian. He has been with the NewsCenter since 2021.
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