Right Whale Distribution and Protection in the Gulf of Maine

Tim Cole
Research Fisheries Biologist
Protected Species Branch NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Friday, Apr. 22, 2011, 3:00pm
Chase 130

NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center right whale aerial survey program is dedicated to locating and recording the seasonal distribution of right whales within U.S. federal waters north of 41º 20' N and east of 72º 50' W.  The objectives of the surveys include: (1) to provide right whale sighting locations to mariners to mitigate whale/ship collisions, (2) to census offshore areas where dedicated survey effort had been absent since at least 1992, and (3) to photographically identify individual right whales found in these offshore areas.  This talk will describe our survey methods and findings, and discuss the ecology of right whales in the Gulf of Maine.


Tim Cole is a research fisheries biologist at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  He began studying whales in 1986, and has worked on projects in Maine, Florida, Antarctica, Hawaii, Norway and the Caribbean.  In 1997, he began working for NOAA directing aerial surveys for right whales in the Gulf of Maine.   He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and a Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.  He lives on Cape Cod with his wife and three sons.