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right whale All photos credited to NOAA Fisheries/Heather Soulen, NEFSC, except where noted.

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May 9, 2017
Contact: Heather Soulen

Prepare for Takeoff: A Photo Essay

The North Atlantic right whale population remains endangered and with human interactions rising, regular monitoring and documentation of their presence is crucial for their survival. Each spring many right whales journey from their calving grounds along the southern U.S. coast to their feeding grounds in the northwest Atlantic. Using NOAA’s Twin Otter airplanes, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s North Atlantic Right Whale Sighting Survey team is well situated to monitor right whales while they feed on zooplankton and small crustaceans in the northwest Atlantic. What goes into the logistics of making these surveys happen? Here is a behind-the-scenes look at some of the logistics involved in an aerial survey designed to help protect an endangered species like the North Atlantic right whale.

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