The Marine Resources Council's Right Whale Monitoring Program was established in 1995 to reduce human impacts to the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Citizens on the east coast of Florida report land‑based sightings of right whales to our hotline (1‑888‑97‑WHALE). This information is passed on to local ship traffic to avoid ship strikes, which account for over one‑third of documented right whale deaths in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Whale Volunteer Party April 5th!

It's that time of year again... it's the first day of spring, the last of the right whales are making their way north (a few a little slower than others), and it's time for our Right Whale Volunteer Party! It's a potluck lunch, so please bring a dish to share. A presentation will be given on how the whale season went, we'll award our Volunteer of the Year, and we'll be giving away door prizes and possibly have a silent auction! This is the fun, not-to-be-missed whale party of the year! Please RSVP if you plan to join us! MRC will provide paper products, silverware, cups, ice, and drinks.


April 5th, 11:30am, Lagoon House/MRC at 3275 Dixie Hwy. NE, Palm Bay, FL 32905.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Come see Disneynature's "BEARS" with us!

MRC will be hosting movie night at Premiere Theaters at the Oaks (Hibiscus Blvd., Melbourne, FL) on April 21st at 7:00pm!  To support one of our biggest sponsors, we will be seeing Disneynature's BEARS.  Please join all your whale volunteer friends in a show of support to keep the whale program running and to support the National Park Foundation!  Bring friends and family or purchase group tickets.  The more the merrier!  Tickets are $10 ea. and are available at MRC in advance.  The ticket you will get from MRC needs to be cashed in for an actual movie ticket with a stub when you get there. Getting tickets in advance helps us keep the concession/ticket line moving on movie night!  Tickets do NOT include concessions, so plan accordingly if you'd like to get a snack!

To view the trailer, go to http://nature.disney.com/bears

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wart Spotted in Northeast!

Remember last year when Wart made the news when she was spotted with a newborn calf in Cape Cod Bay in January 2013?  The iconic 40-something-year-old whale was seen again in Cape Cod Bay on February 8th by the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS), but this time she was alone.  Previously, she and her calf were seen feeding in April 2013, but her calf has since likely weaned itself and is on its own.  Wart was the subject of a disentanglement rescue by PCCS in 2010 and frequents Cape Code Bay often.

Volunteers spotted Wart off the coast of Florida on Feb. 9, 2005 and the Marineland Right Whale Project confirmed the sighting.  She was also seen by the Florida Fish and Wildlife aerial survey team that year.  To view all the sightings of her (starting in 1981), visit the Right Whale Catalog at http://rwcatalog.neaq.org/

Learn more about Wart's biography at http://www.neaq.org/conservation_and_research/projects/endangered_species_habitats/right_whale_research/right_whale_projects/monitoring_individuals_and_family_trees/whale_biographies/wart.php

Thursday, February 13, 2014

#1301: Another Underweight Calf


Right whale #1301 with her 2012 calf.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, NOAA Research Permit #15488

Right whale #1301 and her new calf were recently spotted on  Feb. 9th  about 7.5 miles east of Amelia Island, FL.  At no more than 6-1/2 weeks old, her 6th calf appears to be underweight.  Unfortunately, to see an underweight calf for this mom isn't unexpected.   A history of unhealthy calves has plagued this particular mom.  She gave birth to her first calf in 1989 and it survived for about a year.  After a long break, she gave birth to her second calf, #3301, in 2003 - the only one to survive of the first 5 calves.  Her subsequent calves born in 2006, 2008, and 2012 all died as well.  The photo here is of #1301 and her 2012 calf, also underweight before it died.  The new calf's health will be monitored and time will tell if this one survives.

#3301, her calf from 2003, is a male named Neptune.  He is now 11 years old, of reproductive age, and was last spotted in Feb. 2012 off South Carolina.

Injured Whale Spotted Again

The injured yearling spotted off Sebastian Inlet on January 21st was spotted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources aerial survey team on Feb. 10th.  The whale was located about 18.5 miles east of Blackbeard Island, GA.  So, after cruising quickly south in January, the whale has turned and headed back north.  The wounds at the base of the tail flukes are showing signs of healing, but the whale appears to be underweight.  Photographs of the right flipper are still necessary to determine if the whale is currently entangled.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

First Right Whale in Brevard County in Two Years!


On Tuesday, January 21st, MRC received a call on the hotline from Corey and Casey Langle from Melbourne Beach. MRC was expecting the call, as the Marineland Right Whale Project had spotted an injured yearling (believed to be 2013 calf of #3294) off Daytona Beach Shores just 2 days earlier, and headed quickly south.  Around 12:30pm, MRC confirmed the injured yearling off Sebastian Inlet, still being elusive and still traveling very quickly south.  We last saw the whale off the McClarty Treasure Museum in Vero Beach, but not before securing photos. Many thanks to Ed Perry at the museum for photographing the whale (shown here), as well as Jim and "D" Voeste who photographed the whale from the Sebastian Inlet jetty. Without your help, we wouldn't have gotten crucial information on the ID of the animal, as well as documentation of the injury.  Thank you so much!

As of this posting, the location of the whale is unknown.

To view the news of this animal on the Marineland Right Whale Blog from a couple days before we saw the whale, go to http://marinelandrightwhale.blogspot.com/2014/01/survey-team-5-gets-first-whale-sighting.html