Lucky spotters may see North Atlantic Right Whales off our coast!
If you see people gathered on the dune crossovers with binoculars, they are probably watching whales. The calving grounds for endangered North Atlantic Right Whales are off our coast, and if you’re lucky, you may see mothers with calves some distance offshore.
Volunteer whale spotters help scientists by reporting whale sightings as they migrate from their feeding grounds in the northeastern US to the shallow waters off NE Florida Scientists believe there are fewer than 500 in the population. Spotters look for a V-shaped blow. High places like dune crossovers and tall buildings give the best views. If you want to learn more, short lectures by author/whale watcher Frank Gromling are offered at Gamble Rogers State Park. Call 386-517-2086 for a schedule.
If you spot a whale call 888-979-4253. Sightings are recorded by the Marine Resources Council and sent to a national database. The Council verifies sightings and notifies ships in the area to keep a lookout for whales. Most injuries to whales occur from collisions with ships. The Marineland Right Whale Project (aswh.org) trains volunteers to assist scientists in sightings, however, observers are required by US law to keep a distance of 500 yards.
The whale pictured here was born nearby and returned to have her calf in the same area.