WHALES: Opinion – Right Whale Congregation – Is It Really a Mystery?

Right Whaleold etching

The Cape Codder reports, “There have been many more right whales than usual this year,” noted Nathalie Jaquet, director of the Right Whale Aerial Survey at the Provincetown Center For Coastal Studies. “We’ve identified at least 120 whales. That’s out of a (worldwide) population of around 400.”

This congregation of critically endangered whales around Cape Cod is even more impressive than the late fall congregation at Passamaquoddy last year. Again, the whales seem to be delaying their migration; an apparent mystery to researchers.

But is this really a mystery? Like most creatures, whales will go where the food is. In a situation where food is more abundant than elsewhere they may well stay put. I submit that the Right Whales are the indicator. They may be, I suspect, showing us some interesting fundamental changes in the Gulf of Maine. The ocean is, as we know, responding to changes in post glacial temperature trends that have long been understood. Exacerbated by humans or not, these changes have been in play for a long time as indicated by the northward expansion of the range of many marine and terrestrial species.

In order to understand the future of Right Whales and other plankton-dependent we need to reinvest in research that will allow us to understand the changes that are currently underway but more particularly to begin to develop strategies for responding in the future …. and it seems, the future is now!


One thought on “WHALES: Opinion – Right Whale Congregation – Is It Really a Mystery?

  1. Help IFAW Save the Whale

    After checking out your blog, I thought you’d be interested in a campaign to help stop the slaughtering of whales for commercial purposes. As you may know, on May 28th the U.S. is hosting the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) Annual Meeting, which is in jeopardy of being led by a pro-whaling majority for the first time in 30 years.
    Fifty humpback whales have already been added to this year’s hunt quota by Japan. This, in addition to habitat destruction and global warming makes it more imperative than ever to support the cause to stop whaling. To help spread awareness, IFAW will travel to the IWC meeting in the Cape Air IFAW Whale Plane, a Cessna 402 painted with inspiring images of humpback whales by famed airbrush artist Jürek, renowned for his Grateful Dead artwork. The plane will travel across the country from May 10th to 20th making stops in key cities to spread the word, and carrying 50 children’s drawings of humpback whales to present to decision makers at the IWC in Anchorage, Alaska.
    Patrick Ramage, the Global Whale Program Manager will be posting updates on this important campaign, along with ways to help save the whales, on his blog: http://blog.stopwhaling.org/update_from_the_whales_need_us_plane/index.html.
    We are asking that you help spread the message by writing about the campaign on your blog or by linking to Patrick’s blog. If you would like an image of the “Whale Plane” for your blog, please let me know.

    With your help in spreading the word, we are one step closer to putting an end to commercial whaling before it is too late to save whales for future generations to enjoy. If you have any questions, please let me know.

    Krystal Grube


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