North Atlantic right whale: recent summer records outside main grounds

Review of recent records (post 950) of the North Atlantic Right Whale, Eubalaena glacialis, during the summer months (June to September), outside its main known summer grounds. 

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Recent records (post 1950)

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ID1: 09/1951; Newfoundland : 49.500000, -53.500000
ID2: 07/1959; Newfoundland : 47.548200, -53.567300
ID3: 18/06/1964; Ireland: 51.310100, -9.865480
ID4: 08/6/1974; Grand Banks: 49.066700, -50.883300
ID5: 09/1977; Offshore N. Spain: 43.000000, -10.500000
ID6: 15/07/1978; Newfoundland: 47.560000, -53.646700
ID7: 02/08/1979; Cape Farewell: 61.083300, -42.166700
ID8: 25/08/1979; Newfoundland: 47.000000, -53.750000
ID9: 31/08/1981; Newfoundland: 48.583300, -53.233300
ID10: 27/07/1984; Newfoundland: 46.750000, -53.633300
ID11: 04/07/1987; Mid-Atlantic (off Spain): 44.833300, -14.983300
ID12: 05/07/1987; Cape Farewell grounds: 63.250000, -32.500000
ID13: 05/18/1989; Mid-Atlantic: 52.716700, -38.600000
ID14: 06/09/1990; Grand Banks: 43.650000, -53.750000
ID15: 21/07/1995; Cape Farewell grounds: 59.633300, -32.650000
ID16: 18/08/1999; Grand Banks: 44.926800, -56.188700
ID17: 17/09/1999; North Cape (Norway): 69.950000, 21.633300
ID18: 28/07/2000; Faroes, Shetlands: 62.316700, 0.116700
ID19: 08 to 09/2000; Southern Norway: 59.516700, 10.566700
ID20: 22 to 23/06/2003; Iceland: 64.416700, -25.416700
ID21: 14/07/2003; Cape Farewell grounds: 62.200000, -34.816700
ID22: 31/07/2005; Grand Banks: 47.100000, -46.970000
ID23: 28/09/2006; Newfoundland: 46.381700, -57.193300
ID24: 04/07/2007; Mid-Atlantic (off US coast): 36.710000, -68.546700
ID25: 08 to 11/2007; Cape Farewell grounds: 62.500000, -29.500000
ID26: 08 to 11/2007; Cape Farewell grounds: 62.000000, -33.000000
ID27: 07 to 12/2007 + 08/07/2008; Cape Farewell grounds: 60.000000, -35.000000
ID28: 09/2007; Cape Farewell grounds: 61.000000, -22.000000
ID29: 08/2007; Cape Farewell grounds: 59.000000, -27.000000
ID30: 09/09/2010; Newfoundland: 47.270000, -52.790000

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ID1: 09/1951; Newfoundland
Catch. In Mitchell et al. 1986 (citing Sergeant 1966): "taken 'in error' from a Newfoundland shore station in 1951". Also in NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 46; Reliability: Definite).

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ID2: 07/1959; Newfoundland
Sighting. In Mitchell et al. 1986 (citing Sergeant 1966): "An animal 'probably from this species' was seen in Dildo Arm, Trinity Bay, in July 1959".

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ID3: 18/06/1964; Ireland
Sighting. In Jacobsen et al., 2004 (Table 1; citing Maul & Sergeant, 1977). Also in NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID: 4269; reliability = Definite).

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ID4: 08/6/1974; Grand Banks
Sighting. In NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 464; reliability = Probable).

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ID5: 09/1977; Offshore N. Spain
Sighting. In Jacobsen et al., 2004 (Table 1; citing Aguilar 1981). Also in NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 612; reliability = Definite).

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ID6: 15/07/1978; Newfoundland
Sighting. In Lien et al., 1989: "Reported frequent feeding activity". Also in NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 638; reliability: Definite).

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ID7: 02/08/1979; Cape Farewell
Sighting. In Reeves & Mitchell, 1986b (citing Jonsgard 1981: observation of "in all probability two bowhead whales" by Norwegian whalers): but given the historical absence of bowheads from the W coast of Greenland, particularly in the summer, Reeves & Mitchell consider it likely to correspond to right whales.

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ID8: 25/08/1979; Newfoundland
Sighting. In Lien et al., 1989. Also in NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 801; reliability: Definite).

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ID9: 31/08/1981; Newfoundland
Sighting. In Knowlton et al., 1992 and in Mitchell et al., 1986 (citing Beamish 1981): female alone, in Bonavista Bay, Newman's Cove; matched to an individual seen off the US coast.

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ID10: 27/07/1984; Newfoundland
Sighting. Lien et al., 1989: "was entrapped in a codtrap and resisted all attempts by humans to come near it. [...] Eventually the animal towed the codtrap and all its supporting grapnels out to sea". Also in NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 2140; reliability: Definite).

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ID11: 04/07/1987; Mid-Atlantic (off Spain)
Sighting. In NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (ID: 4268; reliability = Definite).

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ID12: 05/07/1987; Cape Farewell grounds
Sighting. In Knowlton et al., 1992: matched to an individual seen 15 June 1989 in the Nova Scotial Shelf. Also in NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (ID: 4269; reliability = Definite).

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ID13: 05/18/1989; Mid-Atlantic
Sighting. In Knowlton et al., 1992: mother + calf; both matched to individuals also seen off the US coast. Also in NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (ID: 5531; reliability = Definite).

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ID14: 06/09/1990; Grand Banks
Sighting. In Knowlton et al., 1992: female alone, matched to an individual seen off the US coast.

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ID15: 21/07/1995; Cape Farewell grounds
Sighting. In Hamilton et al. 2007 (individual Eg # 1412): also seen in the Gulf of Maine as well as in 2003 west of Iceland. Also in NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 9421; reliability = Definite)

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ID16: 18/08/1999; Grand Banks
Sighting. In NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 17738; reliability: Unknown).

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ID17: 17/09/1999; North Cape (Norway)
Sighting. Jacobsen et al., 2004: observed from 17 September to 22 October; sightings were confined to a rather small area in a sound between the mainland and a small island, Skorpa; matched to a right whale individual previously seen off Cape Cod, Massachusetts (41"54'N, 68'30'W) on 23 May, 1999. Also in NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 18227; reliability = Definite).

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ID18: 28/07/2000; Faroes, Shetlands
Sighting. In NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 19607; reliability = Probable).

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ID19: 08 to 09/2000; Southern Norway
Sighting. In Jacobsen et al., 2004: "From August to September 2001 there was a right whale observation claimed to have been made in Oslo fjord, Southern Norway. The whale was observed at short distance, 50-100m, moving northwards east of Tofteholmene (59° 31'N, 10° 34'E). The next day the presumed same animal was seen in the same area moving southwards. The observation was made by a fisherman with 6 yr experience onboard a whale catcher in the Antartic and he insisted that this was a right whale. However, the incident was not photo documented".

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ID20: 22 to 23/06/2003; Iceland
Sighting. In Hamilton et al. 2007 (individual Eg # 1412): also seen in the Gulf of Maine as well as in 1995 in the Farewell Grounds. Also in NOAA NEFSC, 2013: 2 sightings in consecutive days of a group of 2 individuals (record IDs 26004 and 26005; coordinates are the first day; reliability = Definite).

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ID21: 14/07/2003; Cape Farewell grounds
Sighting. In NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 26078; reliability = Definite).

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ID22: 31/07/2005; Grand Banks
Sighting. In NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 29280; reliability: Definite).

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ID23: 28/09/2006; Newfoundland
Sighting. In NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 31979; reliability: Definite).

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ID24: 04/07/2007; Mid-Atlantic (off US coast)
Sighting. In NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (record ID 33604; reliability: Unknown).

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ID25: 08 to 11/2007; Cape Farewell grounds
Sighting. In Mellinger et al., 2011: Sound recordings from passive acoustic moorings - August to November 2007 (63 calls on 22 days, mainly in August and September).

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ID26: 08 to 11/2007; Cape Farewell grounds
Sighting. In Mellinger et al., 2011: Sound recordings from passive acoustic moorings - August to November 2007 (931 calls on 22 days, nearly all in August).

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ID27: 07 to 12/2007 + 08/07/2008; Cape Farewell grounds
Sighting. In Mellinger et al., 2011: Sound recordings from passive acoustic moorings - July to December 2007 (979 calls on 21 days; nearly all in July and August); Calls were also detected the next season on 8 July 2008.

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ID28: 09/2007; Cape Farewell grounds
Sighting. In Mellinger et al., 2011: Sound recordings from passive acoustic moorings - September 2007 (42 calls on 3 days).

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ID29: 08/2007; Cape Farewell grounds
Sighting. In Mellinger et al., 2011: Sound recordings from passive acoustic moorings - August 2007 (1 call on 1 day).

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ID30: 09/09/2010; Newfoundland
Sighting. In NOAA NEFSC, 2013 (ID: 40576; reliability: Unknown).

You can download these points as a KML file by clicking on the Google Maps icon in the upper right corner of the map. If using these records in bulk please cite Monsarrat et al. (2015).

These records were obtained from a review of the literature and online sources for confirmed or likely records of North Atlantic right whales, and correspond to Table S3 and Figure S4 in Monsarrat et al. (2015). The current population of the North Atlantic right whale is mainly found during the summer off the eastern coast of North America (Gulf of Maine, Bay of Fundy) but given our aim of mapping the potential extension of the species' distribution across the North Atlantic we only present here records outside these main grounds. For records in the main grounds, see the NOAA-NEFSC Interactive North Atlantic Right Whale Sightings Map

For more information, see Monsarrat et al. (2015).

References

Hamilton, P.K., Knowlton, A.R. & Marx, M.K. (2007). Right whales tell their own stories: the photo-identification catalog. In: Urban Whale N. Atl. Right Whales Crossroads (eds. Kraus, S.D. & Rolland, R.M.). Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, pp. 75–104.

Jacobsen, K.-O., Marx, M. & ØIen, N. (2004). Two-way trans-Atlantic migration of a North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). Mar. Mammal Sci., 20, 161–166.

Knowlton, A.R., Sigukjósson, J., Ciano, J.N. & Kraus, S.D. (1992). Long-distance movements of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). Mar. Mammal Sci., 8, 397–405.

Lien, J., Sears, R., Stenson, G.B., Jones, P.W. & Ni, I.-H. (1989). Right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, sightings in waters off Newfoundland and Labrador and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 1978-1987. Can. Field Nat., 103, 91–93.

Maul, G.E. & Sergeant, D.E. (1977). New cetacean records from Madeira. Bocagiana, 43, 1–8.

Mellinger, D.K., Nieukirk, S.L., Klinck, K., Klinck, H., Dziak, R.P., Clapham, P.J. & Brandsdóttir, B. (2011). Confirmation of right whales near a nineteenth-century whaling ground east of southern Greenland. Biol. Lett., 7, 411–413.

Mitchell, E., Kozicki, V.M. & Reeves, R.R. (1986). Sightings of right whales, Eubalaena glacialis, on the Scotian Shelf, 1966-1972. Rep. Int. Whal. Comm., Special Issue 10, 83–107.

Monsarrat, S., Pennino, M.G., Smith, T.D., Reeves, R.R., Meynard, C.N., Kaplan, D.M. & Rodrigues, A.S.L. (2015). Historical summer distribution of the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis): a hypothesis based on environmental preferences of a congeneric species. Divers. Distrib., 21, 925–937.

NOAA-NEFSC. (2013). North Atlantic right whale sightings [WWW Document]. URL http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/surveys/

Reeves, R.R. & Mitchell, E. (1986). American pelagic whaling for right whales in the North Atlantic. Rep. Int. Whal. Comm., Special Issue 10, 221–254.