Subject: Right whales in captivity?

Tokitae (
Thu, 15 Jan 1998 19:28:14 -0500 (EST)

   I am a high school student and I am currently in a Marine Biology class. We
were assigned a project and part of it was to contact an aquarium for some of
our information. I was hoping maybe u could help answer some of my questions.

First off, I know that u could not keep a "Right Whale" in an aquarium and if
u could i'd imagine that it would be a very large tank.... but just for my
project purposes I would need to know this information. Ok here are some

I thank you for your time and effort.
thanks, Adam

I will answer these questions in a non-facetious manner.

1. What size and depth tank would be needed for a Right Whale?

This is a matter of opinion. I would say a tank about the size of Australia
would be required.

2.How many Right Whales could be kept in the tank  at one time?

Such a tank could hold several dozen.

3.What materials should the tank be made of?

Natural geologic materials would work best.

4.What other types of organisms can be or should be included in or around the

The full range of marine organisms would be needed to provide adequate

5.What should you feed Right Whales and how often?

An unceasing supply of hundreds of tons of copepods, all day and all night,
except during winter.

6.Can they be bred in captivity? If not, what are the problems? If so, are
there any special conditions necessary?

In such an enclosure they would know what to do.

7.What range of salinity is good?

That which is found in the temperate oceans would be required.

8.What range of temperature is good?

Generally in 40's F, except in winter, when the water can go up to the 70's.

9.What range of dissloved oxygen is good?

The range naturally found in the oceans.

10.How are the waste products removed? Is nitrogen controlled?

Waste products are removed by recycling them into the ocean ecosystem.

Howard Garrett
PAWS Lolita Campaign Coordinator