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A Whale of a Time

8/12/2022 – Breaching Humpback Whale, CMWWRC Database. Photo by Mackenzie Briggs.   Friday, August 12th, 2022 had started like any normal day interning on the American Star for the Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center. I prepared the equipment for a day researching Cape May’s marine life. I had no idea that this day would…

New Ways of Propulsion Discovered in Humpback Whales

Humpback whales have always been characterized by their large pectoral fins. In fact their scientific name, Megaptera novaeangliae, translates to “big winged New Englander,” paying homage to their nearly 15 foot fins. These fins are specifically designed to be extremely hydrodynamic, allowing for easy movement through the water, despite their size. They are so efficient, that…

Effects of Marine Debris on Whales

 As many of you have already seen on the news or read online, far more than thirty sperm whales have washed ashore in Europe since the beginning of last year. Four of the thirteen whales found in Germany were discovered to have large amounts of plastic waste in their stomachs. The marine debris included a…

Unusual Mortality Event Strikes East Coast

Unusual Mortality Event Strikes East Coast As of 2016, the Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) indigenous to our east coast has been taken off of the EPA’s endangered species list. The same year, January of 2016, marked the beginning of the Humpback whale Unusual Mortality Event (UME), from Maine to North Carolina, that would continue through…

Changing Sea Surface Temperature and Atlantic Menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) abundance and its effect on the abundance of the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Cape May, New Jersey

Background: As the fall progresses in Cape May New Jersey the sea surface temperatures in the waters surrounding the southern tip of New Jersey begin to drop steadily. Beginning at around 70 degrees in September and dropping to around 40 degrees in December. Many fish species are year round residents in the area and are…

Neptune’s Treasure: Commercial Whaling in NJ

When you go for a whale watching trip with the Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center around the island of Cape May, you get much more than you bargained for. An exhilarating close up look at dolphins and whales is always #1 on the agenda when taking a trip, but also along the way, guests aboard are treated to a sample of Cape May’s rich history. And as the oldest seaside resort in the United States, historical details and pirate tales alike never disappoint; the relics of Cape May’s past are apparent even from sea. The Whale Watch’s unique combination experience of marine mammal ecology and Cape May’s past, pieces together the components of a seldom told story, and a dark one, of the town’s connection to commercial whaling and what it meant for our beloved whales today. The…

Do You Have Whale SENSE?

As the years progress, the use of the oceans for recreational purposes has increased dramatically, leading to a greater number of people living near the ocean, traveling to the ocean, and using recreational boats throughout our oceans. Many don’t realize that, although jet skiing, parasailing, and fishing are all great entertainment activities used at the…

Humpback Whale Migration Patterns

A very popular question that arises while out on our whale watching cruises is the question of when is the best time of the year to see whales in the Jersey shore area and the best time of the day to see them. The question, although appearing to be basic since the Jersey Shore sees…