Blue Whales in New Jersey

From: Phil Clapham (pclapham@whsun1.wh.whoi.edu)
Date: Mon Mar 03 2003 - 08:02:17 EST

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    Hi Gaby:

    Well, I honestly don't know why New Jersey lists blue whales as a local
    animal, because they're not. Blue whales are occasionally found in US
    waters, and in particular there have been some sightings in the Gulf of
    Maine (off Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine). A few of these have
    been close to shore, and others have been a long way offshore near the
    area called Georges Bank.

    I don't know of any confirmed sightings of blue whales in New Jersey
    waters. Over a hundred years ago, there was a stranding of a blue whale
    at Ocean City, Maryland in October 1891, but there's nothing from NJ.

    Blue whales are not regular visitors to US Atlantic waters. They live
    further to the north, and you can find them quite commonly off the coast
    of Nova Scotia (Canada). There are more further north still, and they
    range from Nova Scotia to the Arctic.

    In the North Pacific, blues are VERY common off California, where the
    population is stimated at around 2000 animals. This is probably the
    biggest population in the world right now - blues were hunted almost to
    extinction in many places, and most populations are still small and
    highly endangered.

    Hope this helps!

    Phil Clapham

    Diane Belok wrote:
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    > When and where was the last siting of a Blue Whale in New Jersey
    > waters?Why does the NJ Divisin of Fish and Wildlife consider the Blue
    > Whale an animal found in NJ? Where they ever more common and if so,
    > when? Thank you for your help. Gaby Belok, grade 4
    >
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    -- 
    

    Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D. Large Whale Biology Program Northeast Fisheries Science Center 166 Water Street Woods Hole, MA 02543, U.S.A.

    tel. 508 495-2316 fax 508 495-2066 email: pclapham@whsun1.wh.whoi.edu



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