North Atlantic Right Whale Updates
Get the latest North Atlantic right whale updates from NOAA Fisheries.
Snow Cone: Entangled Right Whale Mother and Newborn Calf
February 18, 2022
The entangled North Atlantic right whale #3560, also known as “Snow Cone,'' gave birth to her calf at the end of 2021. Snow Cone and her calf have been sighted twice in February 2022. The first sighting, on February 12, was 30 miles south of Savannah, Georgia. Only five days later, Snow Cone and her calf were seen 135 miles south, near Daytona Beach, Florida!
Half Note and Her 2022 Calf
February 1, 2022
On January 18, 2022, right whale #1301, also known as “Half Note,” and her newborn calf were first sighted off Sea Island, Georgia. Experts noted the calf was very thin and had whale lice on its flukes, which often indicate poor health.
More recent sightings of Half Note and her calf documented shark bites and damaged tissue on the calf’s tail and flukes. NOAA Fisheries and our partners collected additional images and samples on January 31, including small skin and blubber biopsies from both mother and calf. These will help us better understand potential causes of the calf’s poor body condition and Half Note’s poor rate of reproductive success. Unfortunately, there are no rescue or other intervention options for rehabilitation or treatment of a large whale calf in this condition. We are trying to learn what we can to improve prospects for Half Note and her calf, and other right whales in the future.
Give Right Whales Space–It’s the Law
Remain 500 yards away—about 1/4 mile (about 1 football field). These regulations apply to vessels and aircrafts (including drones) and to people using other watercrafts, such as surfboards, kayaks, and jet skis.
Any vessel finding itself within 500 yards of a right whale must depart immediately at a safe, slow speed.
When encountering marine mammals, slow down, operate at no-wake speed. Put your engine in neutral when whales approach to pass.
Avoid approaching whales, dolphins, and porpoises when calves are present. Never put your watercraft between a mother and calf.