R/V Callisto heading out at dawn on Sept 18 for our bay-wide surveyWe have ventured to the far reaches of the Bay of Fundy, outside of our traditional survey area, to look for right whales this season. Last week the team discussed expanding our survey to areas south of Grand Manan Island and farther east toward the southern tip of Nova Scotia - 2 areas where right whales have been seen recently. With only a 2 day weather window, we decided to first complete a thorough survey in the Bay before we went exploring around the Gulf of Maine.
R/V Nereid heading home at dusk on Sept 18 after our bay-wide survey
On September 18, R/V Callisto and Nereid surveyed a large section of the Bay and found 9 right whales in the northeast part of the Bay, an optimistic number given the year. The whales were farther northeast than usual and outside of their typical feeding area. So we extended our Bay of Fundy survey by another day to cover the northeastern and westward areas outside of the critical habitat area. To our surprise, we only found 3 whales between both boats. Interestingly though, we saw 56 pilot whales during those 2 days and similarly to sperm whales, pilot whales are deep-diving squid eaters. Speaking of sperm whales, we saw 5 sperm whales during those surveys and have some cool audio recordings that we're going to post soon.
Right whale with entanglement scar across its head
The weather is typical of September and is not looking good for next week but we're hopeful we will be able to survey again before our season ends.