Aerial image of right whale calf and mother

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Aerial surveys, a main tool of researchers, are used to detect North Atlantic right whales, help prevent vessel collisions with whales, document calves, assess distribution and habitat use, and locate dead, injured and entangled whales. This mother-calf pair was sighted approximately 5 NM off Ponte Vedra Beach, FL on Feb. 1, 2016. The mother has been documented by researchers before – this is her first calf. Researchers documented 14 mother-calf pairs in the waters off the southeast U.S. coast during the 2015-2016 right whale calving season. Image taken under NOAA research permit #15488.