Plenty of dolphins, basking sharks and ocean sunfish

The NEFSC aerial survey team has been taking advantage of the good weather in recent days to conduct surveys in a number of areas.

On June 24, they flew for an hour and a half in Great South Channel to relocate radio tags. They also spent three and a half hours on Georges Shoal, where they spotted 5 fin whales, 2 minke whales, 5 pilot whales, 15 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, 2 basking sharks, and 10 ocean sunfish.  No right whales were observed.

A survey a few days earlier on Cashes Ledge resulted in the sightings of 1 humpback, 7 fin and 9 minke whales, plus 7 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, 1 harbor porpoise, 53 basking sharks and 45 ocean sunfish.  The survey June 22 also spotted 2 right whales.

On June 20, the team sighted 51 humpback whales, 2 fin whales, 2 minke whales, 1 pilot whale, 73 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, 1 harbor porpoise, 1 basking shark, and 3 ocean sunfish in just two hours surveying in the Great South Channel – SCOPEX North after stopping in Nantucket to refuel. In the four hours flying prior to landing in Nantucket, the team surveyed Great South Channel – SCOPEX South and sighted 2 humpback whales, 2 fin whales, 1 minke whale, 43 pilot whales, 121 bottlenose dolphins, 279 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, 15 harbor porpoise, 5 basking sharks and 13 ocean sunfish. No right whales were observed on either flight.

A survey of Georges Shoal on June 19 started with a flight south of Nantucket to relocate a reported humpback whale carcass. The waters near Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket were the focus of a five-hour survey June 18 during which 7 humpbacks, 15 fin and 4 minke whales were sighted, along with 43 bottlenose dolphins, 1 loggerhead turtle, 6 blue sharks, 47 basking sharks, and 12 ocean sunfish.  No right whales were observed in the area.

A nearly 7-hour survey of Mount Desert Rock and Grand Manan Bank June 17 led to the sightings of 64 harbor porpoise and 55 basking sharks.

 

The NEFSC Aerial Survey Group

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