Researchers spot 40-60 right whales in Bay of Fundy
Researchers at the New England Aquarium got a treat last week when they spotted 40 to 60 right whales in the Bay of Fundy, officials said.
The whales were probably first attracted to the area because of food availability, but are now courting, said Tony LaCasse, spokesman for the aquarium.
The researchers were completing field surveys Sept. 18, when they spotted the whales, who are members of an endangered species.
During this time of year, right whales are dispersed across the Gulf of Maine and in the Bay of Fundy. They will remain there until October, when they will swim south to areas such as Florida and Georgia. The Bay of Fundy is on the northeast end of the Gulf of Maine between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
“It’s not unheard of’’ to see that number of whales, LaCasse said. “But it’s unusual.’’
LaCasse estimated that there are only about 450 North Atlantic right whales in the Atlantic.
The whales can grow to be 40 to 60 feet long and weigh from 45 to 60 tons. Every right whale has a unique rough patch of skin on its head, much like a fingerprint, that helps to identify them.
“There’s one whale with a pattern that looks like an electric guitar,’’ LaCasse said. “One of our researchers named him Van Halen.’’
Amanda Cedrone can be reached at email@example.com.