North Atlantic Right Whales Now More Endangered Than Usual

We’re coming up on the time where North Atlantic Right Whales visit Cape Cod Bay. They were here last year in early April, or at least that’s when one of us ran out and wrote about it.

They come up here to get some plankton. Our waters in April are the right temperature for plankton, which means it is the right temperature for a NARW buffet. You can post up anywhere on the South Shore and see one, although “see one” means “800 yards away, a piece of blubber sticks up out of the water for a second.” If you’re really lucky, you can see him spout or whatever the verb is for that.

However, as meh as that may be, it is still a remarkable thing. There are only 450 NARWs left in the world. Elephants may seem like a rare thing, but there are 2500 of them for every NARW left in the sea.

Those numbers may decrease, because specialists are reporting that NARWs produced no new calves during the last breeding season. CNN reports that there is an even greater extinction trend than before.

We had 71 of the 450 total in our waters last year. The two pictures we have show all of the NARWs born this year.

Therefore, when the NARWs turn up here soon, boaters have to be even more careful about not running them over or even going nowhere close to one.

NARWs are very rare. Boats are required by law to keep a few hundred yards between them and any righty. A collision between a whale and a boat could take an endangered species off of the charts.

It’s also good sense for the mariner. Look at how things ended for Captain Ahab, Quint, Jonah, Samuel L. Jackson… you don’t want to mess with anything that can fit you in their mouth.


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