First right whales of the season sighted


Despite the warmer temperatures, right whales have begun to appear in local calving grounds. This week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission aerial survey team discovered two mother/calf pairs, one, Catalog #3317, close to shore in Ponte Vedra.

Right whale Catalog #3317 and her 2015 calf were sighted approximately 1.5 NM off Ponte Vedra Beach, FL on December 10, 2015. They are the first right whales seen off Florida this winter.

“Dust off those binoculars and get ready! The season is upon us and itís time to start looking seaward for those telltale signs,” said Joy Hampp, program coordinator for the Marineland Right Whale Project, in an email this week. Hampp said the program expects to begin flying aerial surveys next week.

To report a sighting, call Hampp at (904) 669-8615 or call the right whale hotline at 1-888-979-4253 (1888-97-WHALE).