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 have left Cape Cod Bay. No right whales were sighted in Cape Cod Bay from the aircraft on May 13. With the departure of these animals from Cape Cod Bay and Race Point, the Commonwealth is lifting the April 15th advisory to mariners in this area. Mariners should remain on the lookout for right whales as they may still be present on the backside of Cape Cod and in the Great South Channel.
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 this busy 2011 season.
For more information, contact Erin Burke at 508-990-2860 x142 or visit the MarineFisheries website at http://www.mass.gov/marinefisheries.