April 22 was a great day for the NEFSC’s aerial survey group as their nearly six-hour survey of Stellwagen Bank and Wilkinson Basin resulted in lots of sightings. Five fin whales, 37 humpbacks, 1 minke whale, 6 harbor porpoise, 22 Atlantic white-sided dolphins and 1 basking shark were observed from the Twin Otter, along with 29 North Atlantic right whales. A mom and calf pair were among the animals. Some of the right whales were feeding, while others joined sei whales to feed.
Yesterday, April 21, the aerial group sighted 9 fin whales, 39 humpbacks, 7 minke whales, 16 sei whales, 1514 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, and 8 harbor porpoise on Stellwagen Bank and Wilkinson Basin. In addition, the team also sighted 19 right whales, a number of them during transit to photo identify several whales near Nahant, and most of those were feeding.
Earlier in the week, on April 19, the aerial team flew nearly five hours during a survey of Great South Channel -SCOPEX South & North. Five fin whales, 4 humpbacks, and 1 right whale were sighted.
On April 18, no right whales were sighted and only 1 harbor porpoise and 1 bottlenose dolphin were sighted during a three-hour survey over Rhode Island Sound.
The NEFSC Aerial Survey Group