A female two- to three-month-old rare North Atlantic Right Whale calf was found dead in Cape Cod Bay on Thursday. She was one of only four calves born this year to a species in sharp decline. Researchers and whale lovers are especially distressed that the calf was a female, as they are the future of the population.

The calf was found north of Barnstable and was towed to Sesuit Harbor. Cause of death is unknown and a necropsy is planned.

As you may or may not have been following, there have been a record number of Right Whales currently making their home in the waters off Cape Cod, not because there are more whales, but because of the wealth of zooplankton. Each spring, Right Whales return to Cape Cod to feed on tiny crustaceans such as krill. Right Whales are the rarest of all large whale species, with only approximately 500 known world wide. They are endangered for several reasons. Right Whales never fully recovered from being heavily hunted during the whaling era. They have a high blubber content, which makes them float when killed, and produce a high yield of whale oil. Secondly, because they feed slowly by skimming at the photic zone of the ocean, at the upper surface of the water, they are vulnerable to ship strikes and to becoming entangled in fishing gear.

The best place too see Right Whales at this time of year is from Cape Cod beaches, according to Charles “Stormy” Mayo, director of the Right Whale Ecology Program at the Center for Coastal Studies. They may be as close as 150 feet from the shore, which is closer than can be seen from research boats.

Photo courtesy

GMG FOB Dave Moore shares the following from National Geographic. The recent article (March 10) is very interesting and relevant: “How Many Right Whales Do We Miss.”



  1. How sad. In some ways, I hope it was due to natural causes. Thank you for sharing.

    I’d just heard the news this morning that the bay is hosting so many right whales this spring. That’s exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Please Keep info coming .Those of us from Vermont who love your coast are always interested (usually excited )To see info from your Cape Ann (Good Harbor and Glos. at the top ) If we only could see how sea creatures suffer because of human negligence I think more would be done. Also God Bless those “who go out to sea ” so that multitudes may reap the benefits at a warm and cozy table with friends and family ! THANK YOU and yours

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for article which sparked the interest to look a bit at it oh the reach of GMG and contributors make a difference in mine and Kim’s life even though she has never been there she has with me as her hubby. And she does know the foundation that got me to where I am at now most important family & Friends! With a large helping of community and it’s people, mentorship!! 🙂 Dave


  2. Sorry to see this loss of another Right Whale. Glad to see Dave mention that the best place to see the whales right now is off the Cape Cod Bay Beaches. It is shocking to see the number of photos posted this year on Facebook and elsewhere that were obviously taken well inside the feeral 150 yard limit they should be approached. Can only assume enforcement (and announcement of same) does not seem to be enforced as it should be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t seen that on facebook Bill, but I will definitely look. Knowing that there are only 500 remaining in the entire world, it is difficult to fathom how folks can be so irresponsible. I hope that it’s not determined from the necropsy that the calf died from a boat strike because I that makes it difficult for responsible fishermen.


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