Off the coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first right whale of the season was observed during aerial surveillance conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. At the present time, it is not found in fishing areas subject to dynamic closure.
For comparison, the first live right whale spotted last year in Canadian waters was observed in March. In the Gulf of St. Lawrence, specifically in the snow crab grid affected by static closure, the first right whale was observed on May 17, 2017. Observation data show that between 2014 and 2017, right whales arrived between May 15 and May 31.
On the US side, on May 11, in the Great South Channel south of the Gulf of Maine, 31 right whales were observed by a reconnaissance flight conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life reports that right whales are lingering in the Cape Cod Bay area later in the year than usual. The lobster fishing season in this area has been postponed by two weeks to allow whales to leave the area.