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Rare migrating Right Whale spotted near Fort Fisher

November 12, 2009

bildeMarine scientists are abuzz, because Right whales have been spotted–earlier than usual–migrating off the coast of Virginia and the Carolinas.

Reporter Gareth McGrath reports in Wilmington’s StarNews Online that researchers from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington spotted a trio of Atlantic Right whales swimming just three miles off Fort Fisher on Sunday, November 8th. The earliest previous whale sighting in the Southeast was recorded on November 17th.

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher also posted an article regarding the sighting, explaining that a “boater called in a report that they had seen a North Atlantic Right whale around Masonboro Jetty.  UNCW’s aerial marine mammal survey team was in the air at the time and flew over the area to see if the sighting was accurate. In fact, three North Atlantic Right whales were sighted near Fort Fisher State Park in Kure Beach.”

Tracking the migration patterns of the endangered Right whale is important because ship strikes and entanglements in fishing gear are the top killers of right whales. [StarNews Online]

Read more about this sighting and the seasonal migratory patterns of Right whales as they make their way past coastal Carolina.

Photo: UNCW Marine Mammal Program



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