The area occupied by right whales
expanded and then contracted over the course of the season in the same fashion (Fig.
This finding was significant because it was the first observation to call into question previous suggestions that this period of whaling was responsible for removing large numbers of right whales
(approximately half [Cumbaa, 1986] of an estimated 25000-40000 kills between approximately 1530 and 1610 [Aguilar, 1986]) from the supposed historical population of right whales
in this region.
A couple things are different about right whales
than other whales that you may see," Jackson continued.
Because migrating right whales
travel through the Gulf of Maine in spring mad fall, reducing the area's lobster traps at those times would make the passage safer, says Worm.
Adult North Atlantic right whales
(Eubalaena glacialis) are between 14 and 17 meters (45 and 55 feet) in length and weigh roughly 6:3,500 kilograms (139,700 pounds).
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggests right whales
remain on the brink of extinction in the area.
New Englanders in the late 1600s called members of this species "the right whale
The right whale
lumbers along with its mouth half open filtering out plankton, its food, through the baleen plates.
Populating coastal areas with busy shipping lanes, active fisheries and industrial plants, Northern Right whales
swim slowly, spending a lot of time at the surface, skim feeding and resting.
Southern right whales
, for example, are thought to have numbered about 30 000 in Australian waters before a commercial whaling rush began on the species in 1830.
Watchers estimate that some 3,000 Southern Right whales
visited South Africa in 1996, the biggest number in more than a century and representing between a third and a half of the world's population.
Viewers will see humpback whales, orca (or ``killer'') whales, right whales
and most remarkably, blue whales, which are the rarest kind and grow to twice the size of the largest known dinosaur.