Statement on creation of Massachusetts Right Whale Day


Two right whales in open water
North Atlantic right whales Catalog #4146 and #3917 photographed by the New England Aquarium aerial survey team south of Nantucket on Sept. 21, 2022. CREDIT: New England Aquarium, taken under NMFS permit #25739

BOSTON, MASS. (Jan. 5, 2023) – The New England Aquarium is reacting to outgoing Gov. Charlie Baker’s signing of bill H.3869 establishing Right Whale Day in Massachusetts. Vikki N. Spruill, President and CEO of the New England Aquarium, issued the following statement:

“More than 40 years of scientific research from the New England Aquarium shows that human impacts, specifically entanglements in fixed fishing gear and vessel strikes, are driving North Atlantic right whales toward extinction. Massachusetts has a major role to play in the survival of this critically endangered species, given the importance right whales have played in the state’s history, culture, and natural environment. The newly created Right Whale Day will help increase awareness for this species’ plight, providing additional opportunities to educate the public about the urgent need to protect these incredible animals that spend much of the year in and around Massachusetts waters.”

Rep. Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury), the lead sponsor of the bill, shared the below statement:

“Our official state marine mammal, the North Atlantic right whale, is at risk of extinction. Building awareness of their plight will help promote protection efforts and establishing this annual Right Whale Day is an important step in this process. We are grateful to the New England Aquarium for their strong support of this measure.”


Pam Bechtold Snyder –, 617-686-5068