NMFS/PSB Aerial Survey May 26, 2000 (fwd)

From: mike williamson (williams@www1.wheelock.edu)
Date: Tue May 30 2000 - 15:56:35 EDT

Flight Summary for 26 May 2000 ~ NEFSC/PSB

        The aerial survey for May 26, 2000 investigated two regions. The first
was in the northern portion of the Great South Channel (4151N/6920W to
4200N/6900W by 4148N/6918W to 4156N/6859W) which coincided where R/V
Song of the Whale (IFAW~International Fund for Animal Welfare) have
placed pop-up buoys to acoustically monitor right whales. One right
whale was observed traveling northwest and photographed at 4154N/6901W.
About 30 unidentified dolphins were also observed in this region.
        The second area covered was the Northern Edge of Georges Bank (4216N/6720W
to 4212N/6700W by 4212N/6745W to 4208N/6700W) inside the exclusive
economic zone. In this region several individual right whales were observed as well as,
small groups of 2-8 animals. A group of 2 Eg were seen at 4210N/6730W, a
group of 8 were seen at 4213N/6725W and a group of 4 were observed at
4213N/6712W. Sei whales and visible copepod patches were associated
with these right whales. In total for this area, there were 10-11 sei whales
and 15 right whales.
        On the return flight to Plymouth, MA, approximately 6 right whales were
observed off of Georges Bank near Franklin Swell (4207N/6842W and
4203N/6905W). About 18 white-sided dolphins were also observed. As the
survey approached coastal areas about 10-15 miles east of Cape Cod (4201N/6945W),
20 dolphins, 5 feeding basking sharks and 1 harbor porpoise were observed.
Once inside Cape Cod Bay, 2 more basking sharks were observed feeding.
        Most right whales were observed subsurface feeding and did not spend
much time at the surface. Photographs were taken, although the subjects
did not always cooperate! The total right whale count for the day was
        Sighting conditions were good and the sea state ranged between Beaufort
3 and 4.

Amy Lamb
166 Water St.
Woods Hole, MA 02543

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