Monday, December 8, 2008

More About the Right Whale

The Right Whale Volunteer News, Summer 2008 issue, published by Julie Albert, Program Coordinator of the Marine Resources Council Right Whale Monitoring Program, provided a wealth of information about the program and the whales. I learned that peak time for sightings is typically mid-February, but in the 2007-2008 season, it was late January. An above-average 19 calves were born during the 2008 season in the southeast region (South Carolina to Florida). In addition, another 135 right whales, mostly juveniles, were tentitively identified. There were 689 reported sightings.

The newsletter listed 151 volunteers (including our own Cecelia Abbott, conchologist extraordinaire) who reported whale sightings and noted that because of these efforts, the MRC was able to inform commercial and military ships of the whales' whereabouts. An interesting map pinpointed critical habitat and reported sightings. Brevard is part of the critical habitat, although we don't get the quantity of sightings that Jacksonville and points north to Savannah get.
Harbor Branch Oceanographic supports the program and manages the Protect Florida Whales specialty license plate program. According to the newsletter, "The license plate program has contributed $200,000 to the effort ... something to spout about!"

1 comment:

Cactus Jack Splash said...

One of these days I will have to go whale watching...sounds like a good time