Rosie the Right Whale
Posted by PAC Nick Ameen, Friday, January 15, 2016
Hi there! My name is Rosie. Do you know what I love to do? If you said swimming in the ocean, you’re right! Every year I travel from the north to the south and back again. It’s what I do. It’s who I am.
I just love the sound of the waves crashing. I love the smell of the salt water and the way the horizon always seems like I can reach out and touch it. I love the way the rising sun reflects on the surface as it transforms the night sky into another beautiful day.
As much as I love swimming in the ocean, though, it can be pretty dangerous. Between the threat of getting into an accident with a ship or getting tangled in fishing gear, things can get scary out here. Being a North Atlantic right whale is tough!
If I had one wish, I would wish for everyone to give right whales the right of way. It’s sad, but there are very few right whales left — there are only about 450 of us. That’s why it’s so important for people to just let us swim.
If you think you’re too close to a right whale, you probably are. It’s important to keep a safe distance of 500 yards — that’s five football fields!
We’re big — about 50 feet long and up to 70 tons! We’re not the fastest swimmers in the ocean, so it’s hard for us to get out of the way. Please stay on the lookout for us.
We sure do have some great friends. We’re very lucky to have people out there who are ready to help us if we’re in trouble. The Coast Guard works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to keep us safe. NOAA is always ready to help if a vessel strikes us or if we get tangled up in fishing gear. If you see a right whale in trouble, please call the Coast Guard on VHF Channel 16 or notify your nearest stranding center.
Also, remember to slow down. Depending on how big your boat is, and when and where you’re out on the ocean, there are speed limits in place to protect us. If you’re a boater, please do your homework. It could make a huge difference in my life! Be careful out there and remember to give right whales the right of way.
I’m sure glad I got to talk to you about right whales, but it’s time for me to get back to what I love doing the most … swimming. Gotta go now — bye!