The conservation efforts of youth and the plight of the North Atlantic right whale were in the spotlight Sunday at the New England Right Whale Festival in the Aquarium’s Harbor View Terrace Tent.

The day began with presentations by The Calvineers, a group of more than a dozen seventh- and eighth-graders who traveled from the Adams School in Castine, Maine. They spoke insightfully about right whales and the dangers they face in the ocean and gave a little background on their group and the whale, Calvin, for which it is named.

Among the right whale facts the students presented:

  • 83% of right whales alive today have entanglement scars. That means that most right whales have been entangled at least once.
  • More than 60% have been entangled twice. Some have been entangled four or five times, and one has been entangled eight different times.
  • After entanglement, some whales are never seen again. They just disappear.  

The day also included a panel discussion with Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life scientists and activists working to save the right whale. The discussion was moderated by National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry, who is also an  Aquarium Explorer-In-Residence and Trustee. The panelists were Marianna Hagbloom, a Research Assistant with the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life’s Right Whale Research Program; Erica Fuller, a Senior Attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation; Isabella Ceresia, a junior at Holliston High School who is an accepted scholar in the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program and a member of the Aquarium’s ClimaTeens and live blue™ Ambassadors programs; and Emily Adams, a student at Falmouth High School and Gold Award winner in Art in the Healthy Whale, Healthy Ocean Challenge for her sculpture “Public Awareness.”

This year’s festival also featured a special art exhibition and awards ceremony to honor students who participated in the 2019 Healthy Whale, Healthy Ocean Challenge, presented by Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs and the Conservation Law Foundation, which invited K-12 students from the Gulf of Maine region to use their creative voices to raise awareness of the right whale and the need for conservation of marine ecosystems. For a complete list of winners, click here.

Throughout the event there was information available on the efforts to help protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales.

View photos from this year’s festival

The Calvineers perform "Calvin's Song"

Archive of past festivals

Save the Date: World Oceans Day

Looking for even more fun? Be a part of World Oceans Day at the Aquarium on Sunday, June 9, 2019.