Dozens of endangered right whales seen off RI

This Friday, April 22, 2011 photo released Friday, April 29, 2011 by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration shows North Atlantic right whales feeding off shore south of Rhode Island. NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center spotted 57 of the endangered whales off the coast of Rhode Island, and 101 off Massachusetts during their research last week.
This Friday, April 22, 2011 photo released Friday, April 29, 2011 by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration shows North Atlantic right whales feeding off shore south of Rhode Island. NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center spotted 57 of the endangered whales off the coast of Rhode Island, and 101 off Massachusetts during their research last week.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Fifty-seven endangered North Atlantic right whales have been spotted off the coast of Rhode Island.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says on Friday that one of its aerial whale research teams saw the whales, including four mother and calf pairs, on April 22 in Rhode Island Sound. They had also seen 101 of the whales off Massachusetts last week.

Scientists say there were different whales in each spot, and a NOAA spokeswoman says that means they saw more than one third of the known population of 400 to 450 North Atlantic right whales off Southern New England within the space of a week.

NOAA says the whales were actively surface feeding as they made their way north for the summer.

This Friday, April 22, 2011 photo released Friday, April 29, 2011 by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration shows a North Atlantic right whale mother and calf in Rhode Island Sound. NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center spotted 57 of the endangered whales off the coast of Rhode Island, and 101 off Massachusetts during their research last week.
This Friday, April 22, 2011 photo released Friday, April 29, 2011 by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration shows a North Atlantic right whale mother and calf in Rhode Island Sound. NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center spotted 57 of the endangered whales off the coast of Rhode Island, and 101 off Massachusetts during their research last week.

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