The New England Aquarium on Thursday launched a collection of aerial pictures capturing what the group has described as a “fall feeding frenzy” of marine mammals, together with whales, within the Gulf of Maine.
In line with the aquarium, the aerial survey staff at their Anderson Cabot Heart for Ocean Life has been flying over the Gulf of Maine, which stretches from Cape Cod all the best way to the southern tip of Nova Scotia, monitoring what is occurring within the waters.
The Gulf of Maine has “productive waters” that deliver many species to the realm, however that abundance might be in jeopardy as a consequence of local weather change, in keeping with the nonprofit.
“It’s one of many fastest-warming elements of the ocean, with local weather change inflicting the typical temperature within the Gulf to rise by three levels Celsius during the last 15 years,” the aquarium stated in a press release. “Which may not sound like lots, however ongoing warming can have an effect on the distribution of meals sources for animals reminiscent of whales, dolphins, and huge fish, affecting the meals chain and disrupting the ecosystem.”
The autumn aerial surveys captured fin whales, swimming with their mouths large open, proper whales and their calves, humpbacks, many various dolphins, and “superb seems at an endangered blue whale.”
“The quantity of wildlife we’ve seen feeding throughout our fall surveys has actually been fairly astounding,” Orla O’Brien, affiliate scientist, stated in a press release. “From fin whales lunge feeding on krill to proper whales and basking sharks skim feeding aspect by aspect to teams of humpbacks, pods of dolphins, and a blue whale.”
In line with the aquarium, one of many “most enjoyable moments” was when the staff noticed proper whale mother Pediddle and her 10-month-old calf, one in all 11 proper whale calves born final yr, skim feeding. North Atlantic proper whales are among the most endangered whales on the planet.
“It was unbelievable to look at these proper whales feeding on the floor, particularly Pediddle’s calf studying to feed alongside its mom,” Katherine McKenna, an assistant scientist who captured the aerial survey pictures, stated in a press release.
The sighting of the mother and child additionally underscored the urgency for mitigating the human threats to their inhabitants, particularly entanglements and vessel strikes, the aquarium stated.
“Proper whale moms and their calves are important to the restoration of this critically endangered species, and it is very important guarantee they’re protected against threats all through their vary,” McKenna stated.
O’Brien stated that with so few proper whales remaining, recognizing them within the Gulf of Maine can typically be like discovering a needle in a haystack.
“These sightings, mixed with all the opposite varieties of whales we’ve seen feeding right here, exhibit that the Gulf of Maine continues to be an essential habitat and one which wants safety,” she stated.
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