Atlantic Ocean

Sea to Shore Alliance, taken under NOAA research permit 20556

Six endangered North Atlantic right whales died in June, four of them last week alone. This brings Georgia's official state marine mammal even closer to extinction. 

Researchers estimate that just 411 North Atlantic right whales remain. Six of them dying in one month — among them, three of breeding age — is significant. 


Lauren Packard / NOAA/Flickr

Right whales are Georgia’s state aquatic mammal, and around this time of year they’re usually right off our coast having their calves. But this year, only three whales have been spotted, and none of them are calves. Environmental changes and human activity seem to be jeopardizing the endangered whales’ livelihoods.

So, how worried should we be? With us by phone was Clay George, biologist and head of right whale work for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.