Right Whale Mothers and Newborn Calves Remain in Cape Cod Bay

COURTESY OF NOAA FISHERIES Endangered North Atlantic right whales

COURTESY OF NOAA FISHERIES
Endangered North Atlantic right whales

PROVINCETOWN – The Center Coastal Studies in Provincetown has documented high concentrations of the plankton food sought out by endangered North Atlantic right whales in Cape Cod Bay in recent days.

Right whale activities in the bay have been dominated by near-surface feeding behavior.

Experts say this presents a particularly high risk for a ship collision because the animals spend long periods of time just one to three meters beneath the surface – shallow enough to be struck by vessels passing overhead, but too deep to be visible to mariners.

The Center for Coastal Studies’ aerial survey team has identified 5 right whale mothers with nursing newborn calves.

The less-agile calves are particularly vulnerable to vessel collision throughout the southwestern quadrant of Cape Cod Bay.

Mariners are urged to exercise caution, to slow to 10 knots, and to stand watch throughout the Bay until the whale aggregation disperses.

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