Aerial and vessel surveillance efforts by the Center for Coastal Studies and the Division of Marine Fisheries have determined that the feeding aggregation of right whales around Provincetown has dispersed. Few right whales were sighted in Cape Cod Bay from the aircraft on April 1 and the zooplankton resource throughout the Bay was low. Although the timing of this season has been accelerated, zooplankton could re-concentrate over the next couple weeks and attract right whale aggregations. However, with the departure of most of the right whales in Cape Cod Bay, the Commonwealth is lifting the March 21st advisory to mariners in this area. Mariners should remain on the lookout for right whales as they may still be present in the area.
MarineFisheries would like to thank fishermen, whale watch companies, and others for their assistance and compliance with measures designed to protect this highly endangered animal. MarineFisheries monitors the presence of right whales in Cape Cod Bay through aerial surveys, habitat sampling, and acoustic monitoring. Sightings observed through these efforts allow MarineFisheries to address threats to right whales on a real-time basis. We greatly appreciate the diligence and alertness of mariners and our surveillance team during the 2012 season.
For more information, contact Erin Burke at 508-990-2860 x142 or visit the MarineFisheries website at http://www.mass.gov/marinefisheries .