August 2021: Four right whales were spotted by a NOAA whale survey in the Gulf of Alaska! They were sighted in pairs off Kodiak Island, two on August 21st and two on the 24th. Of the two whales seen on the 21st, one was new and one was the whale seen in June 2021 off Haida Gwaii. On the 24th, one whale was new and one was a whale previously seen nearby in 2006. Read NOAAs article about the sightings!
Below are two photos from the August 21st sighting, taken by NOAA researchers during their survey.
June 2021: Jared Towers and James Pilkington, scientists with Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans, just spent two weeks surveying the west coast of Haida Gwaii in search of North Pacific right whales. On their second-to-last day, they finally found one. They followed it for the rest of the day and the next morning, collecting scat and food samples, photos and footage. This information will be able to tell us if it’s a known whale or a new one, the sex of the whale, and whether it’s pregnant. Jared’s post about the sighting can be found here. “It really gave me a sense of what our oceans should look like,” said Jared. ”This massive creature evolved on our coast and belongs here.” In the past decade, right whales have been spotted twice in the same area, once in 2013 and once in 2018. Photos by Jared Towers.