Few if any right whales have been sighted during the NEFSC’s Northeast Right Whale survey flights in recent months.
On December 23, the Center’s aerial team spent more than three hours conducting a survey of Jeffreys Ledge and Wildcat Knoll before fog cut the survey short. One mom and calf harbor porpoise and 2 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were seen, along with two probable right whales although the animals were not relocated to confirm the species identification.
A nearly five-hour survey of Jordan Basin and Jeffreys Bank on December 22 observed 22 Atlantic white-sided dolphins but no right whales.
Another survey around Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket on December 13 sighted 2 fin whales and 1 harbor porpoise. No right whales were observed in the area. The day before, a three-hour survey of Rhode Island Sound observed 12 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, 5 pilot whales, and 130 common dolphins. No right whales were sighted.
A flight December 9 in the NOAA Twin Otter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod observed 234 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, 6 common dolphins and 6 harbor porpoise. No right whales were seen during the five-hour survey of Cashes Ledge.
Thirteen harbor poise were observed December 7 during a five and a half-hour survey of the Gulf of Maine. No right whales were sighted.
During a nearly five-hour December 5 survey of Howell Swell, 49 harbor porpoise, 5 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, and 1 minke whale were observed. No right whales were sighted.
Poor weather conditions on Cashes Ledge during a four-hour survey on December 4 resulted in no marine mammal sightings.