Wednesday, October 22, 2014

{conference} North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium: Right Whale Sign Campaign


Right Whale Sign Campaign

Khan, C.B.1; Rosner A. 2; Landry, S. 3; Accardo, C. 3; Pitchford, T. 4; Knowlton, A. 5; Asmutis-Silva, R. 6; Pepe, M. 6; Wiley, D. 7; Moore, K. S. 8; Buendia, E. LCDR 8; Wobst, A. 9; Ernst, S. 9; Cole, T. 1; Power, G. 2


1 NOAA Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (christin.khan@noaa.gov)
2 NOAA Fisheries Service, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930
3 Center for Coastal Studies, 5 Holway Avenue, Provincetown, MA 02657
4 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Farris Bryant Building, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399
5 New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110
6 Whale and Dolphin Conservation, 7 Nelson Street, Plymouth, MA 02360
7 Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, 175 Edward Foster Road, Scituate, MA 02066
8 United States Coast Guard, Atlantic Area, LANT-35LE: Maritime Security & Law Enforcement Section, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
9 International Fund for Animal Welfare, 290 Summer Street, Yarmouth Port, MA 02675


North Atlantic right whales still number in the hundreds, not thousands. Vessel strike is one of the leading causes of preventable mortality. Vessel strike accounts for 18% of right whale mortalities in which the cause of death was determined, and 15% of the population carries visible scars from a vessel strike. NOAA is mandated to protect endangered right whales under both the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. In order to reduce the risk of vessel strike - we need boaters to be aware of the presence of right whales, keep an eye out for them, slow down where right whales are present, and report their sightings. Because right whales are so few in number, many people have never encountered a right whale and are unaware of their presence. Inspired by the right whale sign campaign in the Southeast region and armed with a small NOAA Outreach & Education mini-grant, we have created a right whale awareness sign and begun distribution to coastal marinas and boat ramps from Virginia to the Canadian border. The 2-by-3-foot aluminum signs read “North Atlantic Right Whales Need Your Help!” and include photographs to aid in the identification of right whales, information on what to do if you see a right whale, regulatory information on the 500 yard approach rule and Seasonal Management Areas, and the NOAA hotline number to report the sighting. Please email Christin.Khan@noaa.gov for more information on getting a sign installed in your area.


















{conference} North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium: NARWSS Summary



Just finished preparing our annual summary of survey effort and right whale sightings for the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium meeting in New Bedford. We documented 269 right whales over 14.090 miles of track line this year!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

{education} The First Right Whale Sign is Up!!!

Asst. Harbormaster Jill Buckley installs the new right whale sign in Scituate!

This has been a long time coming, and the first right whale sign is now up thanks to our partners at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, David Wiley and Michael Thompson, and to Jill Buckley, Assistant Harbormaster in the town of Scituate.  This collaboration has brought together so many folks concerned about right whale conservation and we are hopeful that the project will raise awareness about these endangered whales that share our coast.  The graphic design of the sign by Allison Rosner at GARFO came out great, and that amazing right whale drawing is courtesy of Scott Landry from the Center for Coastal Studies.

{education} Whale Alert 2.0 Modernizes Reporting Whale Sightings!

You can now report a right whale sighting to NOAA directly on your iPhone or iPad with this cool new app - Whale Alert 2.0! It even has the ability to automatically add a time/date stamp and your geographic position for accuracy of the report, and you can upload a photo to aid in species identification!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/whale-alert-reducing-ship/id911035973?mt=8

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

{education} Right Whale outreach and education signs!

Informational right whale signs to be installed at boat launches in the Northeast region

I am so excited today to share the finalized graphic design of the new right whale signs!

These signs are modeled after the ones produced by the Southeast region, and will be installed at boat launches and marinas in the Northeast region in an effort to raise awareness that we share these waters with a critically endangered species, the North Atlantic right whale, and we all need to be careful!

Thank you SO much to the many collaborators who made this possible - an Education and Outreach microgrant from NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Allison Rosner at GARFO who did the graphic design, Scott Landry who drew that gorgeous right whale, and folks from IFAW, NEAQ, USCG, Mass DMF, WDC, and Sea a Spout!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

{flight} 18-20 August 2014 Seal Surveys

I had the opportunity to fly aboard the Fish and Wildlife Service Kodiak floatplane with Dr. Gordon Waring of NOAA Fisheries to document the abundance and distribution of harbor and gray seals on some coastal islands off the coast of Massachusetts.

Fish and Wildlife Service Kodiak floatplane. Photo by NOAA/NEFSC/Christin Khan
Photo by NOAA/NEFSC/Christin Khan
View of seal haul out from the air. Photo by NOAA/NEFSC/Christin Khan
View of seal haul out from the air. Photo by NOAA/NEFSC/Christin Khan
View of seal haul out from the air. Photo by NOAA/NEFSC/Christin Khan

View of seal haul out from the air. Photo by NOAA/NEFSC/Christin Khan
View of seal haul out from the air. Photo by NOAA/NEFSC/Christin Khan
View of seal haul out from the air. Photo by NOAA/NEFSC/Christin Khan
Photo by NOAA/NEFSC/Christin Khan

Friday, August 01, 2014

{education} Day Five: Falmouth Academy class!

Already the last day of the Falmouth Academy 'Biology and Behavior of Whales' summer class, and what an exciting morning we had - we made the front page of the Cape Cod Times, and students and families were so excited to share the news!

Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students were excited to share the news that our class made the front page of the Cape Cod Times!
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students were excited to share the news that our class made the front page of the Cape Cod Times!
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - our class made the front page of the Cape Cod Times!
http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140801/NEWS/408010330
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students were excited to share the news that our class made the front page of the Cape Cod Times!
When we were finally able to tear our eyes away from the newspaper, we learned all about acoustics and the ways that marine mammals use sound to communicate, find food, find mates, and navigate!

Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on acoustics
We went outside to put our acoustics knowledge into practice by first pretending to be different orca whales with different dialects that needed to find the other members of our pod by sound, and then we pretended to be researchers studying wild populations of orca whales.  We had a lot of fun running around outside and making pretend whale calls, and we even got some popsicles!

Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students got outside to put their knowledge of acoustics into practice by pretending to be orca whales from different matrilines with different dialects
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students got outside to put their knowledge of acoustics into practice by pretending to be orca whales from different matrilines with different dialects
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students enjoy a popsicle break outside
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students got outside to put their knowledge of acoustics into practice by pretending to be orca whales from different matrilines with different dialects
Then we headed back into the classroom to learn all about conservation and the management of whales! We talked about ship strike and entanglement in fishing gear, and in particular about the plight of the North Atlantic right whale.

Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on conservation and management
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on conservation and management
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on conservation and management
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on conservation and management
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on conservation and management
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on conservation and management
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on conservation and management
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on conservation and management
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on conservation and management
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on conservation and management
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - slide on conservation and management
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students take their end of the class evaluation form to see how much they have learned this week!
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students take their end of the class evaluation form to see how much they have learned this week!
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students take their end of the class evaluation form to see how much they have learned this week!
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students take their end of the class evaluation form to see how much they have learned this week!
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - student shows his appreciation by giving me an awesome drawing of a humpback whale that he made this week!
Falmouth Academy Whales class taught by Christin Khan - students show their appreciation with a great card!