Perplexed is a good word to describe the feeling around the whale house these days. It is mid-September and right whale numbers are still unusually low. Below is an e-mail Amy Knowlton sent to the NEAq team last week that expresses our frustrations but also suggests possible reasons for the low numbers we are seeing in the Bay this year.
NEAq team members discuss surveying different right whale habitats outside of the BOF.
We were able to survey this past Monday (Sept 13) but only came across two whales (M/C - EG#3360 and 2010CalfOf3360) and they were also heading southwest out of the Bay. At a team meeting yesterday we discussed moving our survey efforts to areas outside of the Bay where there have been reliable right whale sightings this year. A considerable amount of planning, preparation and cooperative weather is necessary to do this but it will be worth it if we're able to find any sort of right whale aggregations.
We'll update asap of any shift in our survey efforts. It should be quite an adventure.