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 in western Cape Cod Bay has dispersed. No right whales were sighted in the area from Green Harbor down to Sandwich from the aircraft on May 1 and the zooplankton resource throughout the Bay has declined. However, the whales have not fully departed Cape Cod Bay – the aerial survey team spotted approximately 50 right whales around Provincetown who were surface feeding. Thus, mariners should remain on the lookout for right whales around Provincetown and the outer shore of Cape Cod.
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 2013 season.
For more information, contact Erin Burke at 508-990-2860 x142 or visit the MarineFisheries website at http://www.mass.gov/marinefisheries.