27 of this most endangered species spotted off Outer Cape
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries issued a warning to boaters plying the waters east of Truro and north of Provincetown to stay at least 1,500 feet (500 yards) away from a pod of 27 right whales which are passing that area on their seasonal journey to Stellwagen Banks just north of Cape Cod.
These represent 8% of the entire known right whale population left on earth, and the area of Stellwagen Bank and Cape Cod Bay is one of the five main habitats of this species.
The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies is working with the state to protect this majestic mammals which can grow to fifty feet and weigh fifty tons. Click on image on right to read about the Right Whale conservation program.
It has been seven years since a right whale was struck and apparently killed by a boat. In 1999 a 50 ton female dies off the cape in that manner.
Center calls for emergency speed restrictions
In February a resolution was proposed by Peter Borrelli, the Center's executive director, and adopted recently by the Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC), for emergency speed restrictions for vessels using the Gerry E. Studds/Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
With the coming week an especially active one for local mariners, the state cautions all boaters in the area to post a look out on every vessel.
Right whales feed on huge plankton blooms off Truro and Provincetown. They dive to feed on these nutrients and are invisible to all but the most watchful mariner.
The chart on the right shows the route of right whales from the Caribbean passing Cape Cod to the Bay of Fundy