PHOTOS: 20 North Atlantic Right Whale Names Announced

Photo courtesy New England Aquarium under NOAA research permit #775-1600-2

HYANNIS – With North Atlantic Right Whales making their yearly migrations from southern waters towards New England, scientists have announced the new names of 20 cataloged whales. 

The New England Aquarium said each whale gets a four-digit number in the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog but names are also assigned to the marine animals each year. 

Officials said that when deciding on names for the whales, they try to find a discernible and unique feature that will help with identification during real-time sightings.

Some of the recently announced names include pop culture references like “Jedi” and “Beaker.”

One whale called “Medusa” has markings reminiscent of the jellyfish of the same name. 

“Whale research is often complex or otherwise inaccessible to the public, so sharing this whale naming process in a lighthearted way allows people to not only become familiar with these individuals, but provides an inside look at some of the collaborative work being done by researches,” said Monica Pepe with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation. 

Many North Atlantic Right Whales can be found in Cape Cod Bay from December to May. The creatures are vulnerable to entanglements in fishing gear

Aquarium officials note that an estimated 340 whales remain and that one whale named Snow Cone has unlikely chances for survival. 

Photo Courtesy Center for Coastal Studies under NOAA research permit #19315-01

Photo courtesy New England Aquarium under NOAA research permit #19674

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.
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