more on right whales

Like I said in yesterday’s story, North Atlantic right whales are already getting a lot of help to reduce their chances of getting killed by ships.

At certain times of year, ships have to slow down when they’re going through right whale habitat. For example, they have to go slow off Georgia in the winter, when moms and babies are hanging out, and off Boston when the whales are feeding there in the spring. The whales aren’t totally lockstep about their migration, but they are more likely to be in some places than others at particular times of year.

One of the niftier items I mentioned in the story is the buoys in the Boston shipping lanes that listen for right whales. If a buoy hears a right whale call, they send it back to shore where a human checks it, then somehow the information gets out to ships.

You can see this for yourself – the Right Whale Listening Network has a nice website that shows which buoys are active right now and which of those have heard a whale in the last 24 hours. Right now I see one red whale outline out east of Cape Cod. The buoys in Cape Cod Bay aren’t working because there aren’t as many right whales in the area at this time of year.

photo: NOAA

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