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Right Whales


New Report Explores Threats, Solutions Impacting Right Whales

New Report Explores Threats, Solutions Impacting Right Whales

The North Atlantic right whale is a critically endangered whale species that is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Canada’s Species at Risk Act. These animals, of which there are only 411 remaining, are often found within 50 miles of the East Coast of North America, making them vulnerable to human activities.

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WHOI to be Featured in Upcoming BBC Program ‘Blue Planet Live’

WHOI to be Featured in Upcoming BBC Program 'Blue Planet Live'

Scientists, engineers, vehicle operators, and ship crew from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will be a featured part of the upcoming BBC program, Blue Planet Live, which will air over four nights beginning March 24. The series will include two live broadcasts from the research vessel Atlantis showing launch and recovery of the human-occupied submersible Alvin.

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Study Identifies Whale Blow Microbiome

Study Identifies Whale Blow Microbiome

A new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues identified for the first time an extensive conserved group of bacteria within healthy humpback whales’ blow’”the moist breath that whales spray out of their blowholes when they exhale.

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Eavesdropping on Whales

Eavesdropping on Whales

WHOI scientist Mark Baumgartner has installed a mooring in New York waters that listens for whales and sends back alerts. The prototype advance-warning system could one day help reduce shipping collisions with whales.

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Endangered Whales Get a High-Tech Check-Up

Endangered Whales Get a High-Tech Check-Up

Drones seem to be everywhere these days, from backyards to battlegrounds. Scientists are using them too: in this case, to assess the health of endangered North Atlantic right whales. Since drones are small and quiet, they can fly close to whales without disturbing them, bringing back incredibly detailed photographs and samples of microbe-rich blow.

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Drag from Fishing Gear Entanglements Quantified

In a paper published online Dec. 9, 2015, in Marine Mammal Science, a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has for the first time quantified the amount of drag on entangled whales that is created by towing fishing gear, such as rope, buoys, and lobster and crab traps. The study provides important data for teams evaluating the risks and benefits of whale disentanglements.

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A Telescope to Peer into the Vast Ocean

A Telescope to Peer into the Vast Ocean

There are more single-celled plankton in the ocean than stars in the universe. A new instrument is about to depart on a mission across the vast Pacific to capture images of what is out there.

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Michael Moore

Michael Moore

» Chasing Bayla: Michael Moore’s quest to free a North Atlantic right whale from fishing gear (The Boston Globe, October…

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Call of the Whales

Call of the Whales

Robotic gliders equipped with acoustic monitoring devices can now eavesdrop on whales, enabling researchers to locate the elusive animals before they surface—and to warn ship pilots in the area to slow down to reduce the chances of a deadly collision.

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Frequency Ranges of Marine Animal Sounds

Marine Mammals: Whales North Atlantic Right Whale. Photo courtesy of WHOI Archives. North Atlantic Right Whale sound frequency: 0.4kHz https://www.whoi.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/NorthAtlanticRightWhale.mp3…

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Whale Heads and Tales

Whale Heads and Tales

It’s a Saturday morning at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown, Mass., the farthest point on the Cape. I am sleepy,…

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Prey-tell: Why Right Whales Linger in the Gulf of Maine

WHOI’s Mark Baumgartner finds that the location, the length of stay, and perhaps the very abundance of the whales may be dependent on an interesting vertical migration pattern by the copepods on which the whales feed. It seems to be a case, he said, of “how the behavior of the prey influences the behavior of the whales.”

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