FINAL Right Whale Migration Update: May 9, 2001
Today's Report Includes:
Greetings from the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary -
It has been a year that we can really celebrate!! More than 26 calves sighted, this has been a record year for new births! Will this
What's Next for the Whales?
As food supplies are consumed in the Cape Cod Bay, whales will be moving northward into the Bay of Fundy, the Roseway Basin and points beyond. The Bay of Fundy lies between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Roseway Basin lies north of Brown's Bank, the underwater ledge rich in nutrients and fresh food for the right whales.
Take a look at a map of these protected waters.
The Whales are Clearly Outside of Cape Cod Bay
The latest report from the Right Whale Manadatory Ship Reporting System show that the whales have moved out of the Bay. Here's their report:
Summertime Sanctuary Safety
The Sanctuary is making efforts to protect feeding whales when and if they visit the Stellwagen Bank this summer. A joint federal-state partnership begins regular law enforcement patrols, the first of which went out Friday, May 11.
For the first time, Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP) patrol boats will provide a visible presence in the Sanctuary, particularly on busy weekend days when commercial and recreational boats jockey for position around local whales. MEP officers are cross-deputized to work in federal waters, and can enforce federal environmental regulations, particularly ones to protect endangered marine mammals and other Sanctuary resources.
This cooperative effort between the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, the Massachusetts Environmental Police, and the NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement will serve to educate the boating public while documenting Sanctuary uses and will provide a regular marine "cop on the beat" to enforce Sanctuary regulations.
"See A Spout, Watch Out"
The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary will also be actively promoting a new boating safety program entitled "See A Spout, Watch Out" during the patrols and at other venues where boaters are present. This outreach effort has been developed in conjunction with the International Wildlife Coalition of Falmouth, MA and is a key component of the Sanctuary's overall interpretive enforcement effort. The campaign features four easy to remember safety tips to keep you and whales safe.
To review the material, please visit the IWC web site.
Three Cheers for Cooperation!
Right Whale Manadatory Ship Reporting System is a project instituted in July 1999 for large vessels to report in to when they transit right whale critical habitat areas. They receive precautionary guidance about navigating 'near' right whales and the latest locations where whales were observed.
One of the neat things about the program is the cooperation between many different organizations working together to save our right whales. Some of the groups include the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, and NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service.
Feeding Location Revealing- Discussion of Challenge Question #12
Samples of marine organisms from throughout the Bay area are analyzed to determine which plankton are present and where the highest concentrations of them are found. Monitoring where the whales are feeding helps us understand the bay's currents. We asked, "What does the change in feeding location of the whales imply about the currents in the Cape Cod Bay?"
Whales were feeding at the 7 o'clock position in the bay one week this spring, then found at the 12 o'clock position two weeks later. The plankton moved with the currents in the bay in a counter-clockwise direction!
Where's Calvin? Discussion of Challenge Question #13
Calvin, the right whale that was first sighted on February 2nd entangled with a dark green rope has been an interesting animal to follow this season. The weather and Calvin's temperament have made it impossible for rescue crews to cut the rope free, but rescue crews were able to tag Calvin for tracking.
We asked this question, "Calvin is enjoying a feast at a popular feeding site for right whales. Can you
compare maps and identify where Calvin is finding food on April 24th?"
Where's Calvin Now?
The Cooperating agencies that are part of the Mandatory Ship Reporting System and were tracking Calvin the past few months made a discovery on May 8. Here is their report:
To view the map showing the sightings:
Calvin somehow escaped from the holds of the rope and satellite tag! Let's just hope that Calvin is safely free
of the entire rope!
A Big Thank You!
We couldn't bring you accurate right whale news without the help of Anne Smrcina in the northern migration grounds at Stellwagen Bank, and New England Aquarium's Chris Slay reporting in from the calving grounds off the coast of Georgia and Florida!
Also, it is the Journey North students who, by getting involved with the fight for the survival of this endangered species, deserve a big thank you from the whales.
Stellwagen Has New Web Site- Come Visit!
Be sure to check out the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary's new web site, with information about Sanctuary whales, fish and other species. We hope to expand our sections on personal experiences in the Sanctuary and art/poetry about marine resources, so send us your contributions. You may find your work published on the web!
Our address is: http://stellwagen.nos.noaa.gov.
Year-End Evaluation: We'd Appreciate Your Thoughts!
Please take a few minutes to share your suggestions and comments in our Year-End Evaluation Form below. The information you provide at the end of each year is the single most important tool used to guide our planning.
This is the FINAL Right Whale Migration Update for 2001. We hope you have enjoyed learning about these endangered marine mammals this spring. Have a great summer! Thanks for your participation.
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