‘Calvin the Right Whale’ to join legislators at New England Aquarium for first-annual North Atlantic
New law dedicates April 24 to annually recognize endangered species
BOSTON, MA – A forty-two foot right whale named ‘Calvin’ will help welcome the public for the first ever annual Massachusetts North Atlantic Right Whale Day at the New England Aquarium.
Massachusetts officially declared April 24 as Right Whale Day, (H.3869, An Act establishing Massachusetts Right Whale Day) in an effort to raise awareness about the endangered North Atlantic right whales, which are the state’s official marine mammal.
The focus of the Right Whale Day event is to encourage residents of Massachusetts to learn more about these endangered mammals. The New England Aquarium’s current estimates show that the worldwide North Atlantic right whale population is below 350 individuals.
“The North Atlantic right whale is part of our rich maritime history and yet our official state marine mammal is at risk of extinction. Establishing this annual day to celebrate right whales will help promote education and protection efforts,” said Rep. Josh S. Cutler (D-Duxbury), lead sponsor of the legislation.
Rep. Cutler credited his constituent Matt Delaney of Pembroke for bringing the idea to him to dedicate a day for the rare whales after being inspired by a personal encounter. The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Moran (D-Falmouth).
“Massachusetts has a major role to play in the survival of this critically endangered species, given the importance right whales have played in the state’s history, culture, and natural environment. This day will help increase awareness for this species’ plight, providing additional opportunities to educate the public about the urgent need to protect these incredible animals that spend much of the year in and around Massachusetts waters,” said Vikki N. Spruill, President and CEO of the New England Aquarium.
The event will also feature partner organizations [JS1] working to collaborate with ropeless gear users and developers to explore ways to foster coexistence between right whales and the fishing industry. This joint effort aims to bring together industry leaders, scientists, and gear manufacturers to promote the use of whale-safe gear.