A very small portion of the gear we transport for the field season.
Last year, we had surprisingly low numbers of right whales in the Bay of Fundy, and an equally surprising high number of sperm whales! We’re eager to see if this is a new trend or just a “fluke.”
On a sad note, we know there are several whales we won’t be seeing in the Bay this year, as five deaths have been confirmed and at least two others suspected since January. Two of these confirmed deaths were reproductive females, which are invaluable to such a slowly growing population. Slash (Catalog #1303), who had given birth to at least six calves, was a favorite of the team and easily recognized by her scarred flukes. Unfortunately, her carcass was never secured so we will never know the cause of death, although ship strike is a possibility.
While her calf rests at the surface, Slash lifts her uniquely scarred flukes to go on a dive in the Bay of Fundy.
Despite these losses, we are optimistic that we’ll see lots of new “faces” this season! This winter, 21 calves were born, and about 2/3rds of them will make their first appearance in the Bay! The others will travel with their moms to locations still unknown.