The Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC)’s aerial survey group observed a variety of marine mammals during their April 6, 2015 survey on Great South Channel – SCOPEX South. In addition to one traveling North Atlantic right whale, the survey group reported sighting 2 humpback whales, 4 fin whales, 7 common dolphins, 6 bottlenose dolphins, 148 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, 13 harbor porpoise, and 2 pilot whales.
Last week, on April 1, the group observed the first North Atlantic right whale mother/calf pair sighted this season near Martha’s Vineyard. The mother was identified as right whale (Eubalaena glacialis, or eg) 1611, also known as Clover, and the calf is her fourth. Clover was born in 1986.
The mother/calf pair sighting, along with two other right whales in the area, triggered a Dynamic Management Area (DMA), a voluntary speed restriction zone to protect the whales, in Rhode Island Sound 35 nautical miles south of Providence, Rhode Island through April 16. Mariners are requested to route around the area or transit through it at 10 knots or less. Recent right whale sightings can be found on the Interactive North Atlantic Right Whale Sightings Map. Seasonal management areas are also in effect in a number of areas off the U.S. East Coast.
The NEFSC Aerial Survey Group