This week's edition of the Christian Science Monitor features our Right Whale Research Program on the cover and in the article "The Whale Savers!" The author, Doug Struck, spent time this summer interviewing researchers at our field station and even went out with the survey team on our research vessel Nereid.
Mr. Struck details the history of the Program, the work we currently do to maintain and curate the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog, our research techniques and our collaborative efforts to understand and protect this species the best we can:
"But the North Atlantic right whale has perplexed researchers trying to understand why the increase in its numbers has been slow. The gap in knowledge isn't for lack of trying. Researchers spend months every year cruising the waters or flying in planes looking for the whales. They have used dogs on boats to help in the effort. They have scooped whale poop for analysis, listened in on the whales’ watery conversations, and fired crossbows at the animals to get a plug of skin.
They have mapped the mammals’ genes, reached with long poles to capture whale breath, helped untangle the animals from fishing lines, stuck suction cups on them to record their dives, and taken hundreds of thousands of photos.
They also have spent countless hours in meetings with governmental agencies and shipping companies to reduce the aquatic roadkill of whales from ship traffic."Pick up a hard copy or read the article online, and also check out the Editor-at-Large's commentary blog post on environmentalism and whales.
Once again, we'd like to express thanks to those of you who donate to our program, sponsor a right whale or purchase right whale gifts- our projects discussed in the article and the people we hire to do them depend upon your contributions!