Subject: Summary: Center for Oceanic Research and Education trips 26

Yankee Fleet (yankee@tiac.net)
Wed, 4 Sep 1996 12:54:11 -0400

Below is a summary of the whale sightings for the week of 26 August to 01
September, 1996 by researchers from the Center for Oceanic Research and
Education aboard commercial whale watching vessels out of the Yankee Fleet
in Gloucester Massachusetts.  Our study area includes areas of Southern to
mid-Jeffrey's Ledge and Northern to mid-Stellwagen Bank.

Sightings of humpback whales remained at about six individuals per trip.
Fin whale sightings remained quite low with an average of less than one per
trip through the period.  Minke whale sightings were fairly consistent with
one or two individuals sighted during each trip.  One pod of Atlantic
white-sided dolphins were sighted in the afternoon on August 31st, with
approximately 75-100 in the pod.  Several calves were present. Reduced
sightings of larger whales may have been due to impending hurricane Eduardo
which came up the coast on the second of September. 

The humpback whales were observed traveling, resting at the surface, as well
as bubble cloud feeding.  Traveling and feeding behaviors were most commonly
observed. Sightings were consistently on the northern end of Stellwagen
Bank, except for one trip to southern Jeffrey's Ledge in the morning of
August 31.  

Birds sighted during the week were herring gulls, greater black-backed
gulls, ring-billed gulls, laughing gulls, common terns, greater shearwaters,
sooty shearwaters, several Northern gannets, and  six manx shearwaters.