On Monday, March 27, 2023, Spindle, an approximately 41-year-old North Atlantic right whale, was spotted in Cape Cod Bay with her calf. A new video from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, New England Aquarium, and Whale & Dolphin Conservation, shows the calf suckling, or feeding, as it swims under its mother.
This is Spindle’s 10th documented calf. Unfortunately, only two of her known calves are female, and researchers recently sighted one of the juvenile females with severe entanglement and in poor body condition off the coast of North Carolina. It has not been seen since January.
Every single female North Atlantic right whale and calf is vital to the species’ recovery. So far, researchers have identified 12 live calves this calving season.
North Atlantic right whales are dying faster than they can reproduce, largely due to human causes including entanglements in gear and collisions with boats and ships. There are approximately 340 North Atlantic right whales left on the planet, and fewer than 70 reproductively active females.
NOAA NMFS #21371