Around New England

First Right Whale Mother-Calf Pair of Season Spotted in Cape Cod Bay

April 11, 2019

A mother and calf right whale pair were seen in Cape Cod Bay this past weekend, the first of the year.

Whales come to the waters off Cape Cod every late winter and early spring to feed on plankton, which are rich in this area and help account for the murky waters. The whales leave in the fall for the warmer waters of the Caribbean, which are clearer but also lack nutrients to sustain them.

Ship strikes and fishing rope entanglement are believed to be hurting the population of right whales, which at 411 recorded individuals is designated an endangered species.

The mother is at least 38 years old – she was first spotted in 1982. This is her ninth known calf, according to the Cape Cod Times.

A man in Provincetown recently shot video of an individual adult right whale swimming near a sandbar. The video was shot while he was standing on Commercial Street; he shared it with WHDH-TV Channel 7 in Boston.

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