right whales

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

Conservationists say a newborn right whale has been spotted off the coast of Georgia with serious wounds to its head.

Barb Zoodsma of the National Marine Fisheries Service says humans may be helpless to do anything to treat the injured calf.

MORE: On Georgia’s Coast, Right Whales On Edge Of Extinction

Critically endangered North Atlantic right whales migrate each winter to shallow waters off Georgia and Florida to give birth.

Sea to Shore Alliance, taken under NOAA research permit 20556

A federal judge has reinstated a fishing ban in New England that aims to protect North Atlantic Right Whales.


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. 


Sea to Shore Alliance, taken under NOAA research permit 20556

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


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The Georgia coast is a central calving spot for North Atlantic right whales; however, last year, no new calves were spotted there, and that caused great concern about the species. Only about 400 right whales are left in the entire world. 

Things are looking up this year: four, possibly five, calves have been spotted along the Florida and Georgia coasts so far this season.


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.