This is the fourth mom and calf pair spotted this season.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (December 29, 2020) – Yesterday, December 28, an aerial survey team with Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute (CMARI) identified the third right whale calf/mom pair off the coast of Georgia near Sapelo Island. Known mom “Nauset” is 27-years-old and this is her fourth calf.
“Each calf continues to give us hope,” said Melanie White, North Atlantic Right Whale Conservation Project Manager and Research Biologist with CMARI. White continued, “but there is a long way to go for this fragile species.”
Today researchers estimate there are less than 400 North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) left in the population, with fewer than 100 breeding females left. Calving grounds off the coasts of northeast Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina have been designated Critical Habitat Areas to help protect the species.
“While it is also the hope to come across a new mother-calf pair during our surveys, the elevated level of excited among the observers inside the plane never gets old when we do,” said White.
The right whale is a federally-protected endangered species under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute aerial survey teams work with NOAA, Georgia DNR, FWC, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to mitigate ship collisions and document reproductive rates, provide scientific data to marine decision makers on conserving the species, assist efforts to disentangle whales from fishing gear, locate carcasses for recovery and necropsies, and assist with locating whales for genetic sampling and satellite tagging.
CMARI recently expanded its aerial survey area to cover the coasts of North and South Carolina, adding 3,700 miles to cover a total of 4,500 nmi.
- About Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working marine rescue center dedicated to preserving our marine life and environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release. CMA is home to rescue dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, nurse sharks and more. Winter, the dolphin’s story of survival after injury that caused her to lose her tail, has impacted millions of people around the world. A major motion picture, Dolphin Tale, highlighted her life story in 2011. The sequel, Dolphin Tale 2, was released in September 2014 and features the incredible story of Hope, a young resident dolphin of CMA. The mission and potential to change people’s lives differentiates Clearwater Marine Aquarium from any other aquarium in the world
We believe in preserving our environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life; environmental education; research; and conservation.
A Florida non-profit 501(c)(3) organization