Vineyard Gazette
“Cap’n” Seth Wakeman Jr.
Right whales
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Bruce Brooks
Nuzzling the shoreline with the curiosity and daring that made its ancestors easy prey for whalers, a young right whale is swimming slowly northward along the East Coast toward Martha’s Vineyard.
Right whales
Sea turtles
Marine Mammal Protection Act
Mark Alan Lovewell
One of the rarest creatures on the earth, the endangered right whale, was seen near the Vineyard Tuesday.
Right whales
National Marine Fisheries Service



A dead 40-foot whale washed up at South Beach in Edgartown on Friday. The sei whale may have been killed by a boat propeller.

David Grunden, the Oak Bluffs shellfish constable and member of the Island’s marine mammal stranding network, and his team investigated. Mr. Grunden believes the sei whale probably had been dead for a week or more.


Legislation designed to protect migrating right whales could have an unintended, devastating impact on ferry services to the Vineyard and Nantucket, the Steamship Authority has warned.

Under draft rules attached to the legislation, any sighting of a right whale would trigger the imposition of a strict, 10-knot speed limit on ships more than 65 feet long, operating within a so-called “dynamic management area” with a 36-mile radius, for 15 days from the time of the sighting.

There is a whale of a tale in Edgartown.

Marine mammal madness is what I call it. Earlier this week, I received a call about a few animals that have been swimming around Edgartown harbor. The caller thought that they were either dolphins or pilot whales. Either one would be a good sighting and would make for a nice article.


Dead Whale on Beach


An object drifted toward the South Beach shoreline early Friday afternoon. Pauline Martin, who was visiting Edgartown residents Kosta and Louise George, saw it in the ocean and wondered what it was. When the object washed ashore, they discovered the answer - a male, juvenile sperm whale.

After a day, brown and green pigments dappled the once black-and-white flesh. The tail fin lost its firmness, became a yellow membrane swishing about in the breaking waves.


The Wampanoag Tribe will receive the remaining skeleton of a dead juvenile humpback whale that washed up on Squibnocket Beach on Monday.

Matthew (Cully) Vanderhoop, natural resource director for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), said the skeleton will be put on exhibit at some future date in the tribe’s planned cultural center. He and a large team of scientists and volunteers spent much of yesterday cutting up the carcass and removing it from the beach.


One of the rarest creatures on the earth, the endangered right whale, was seen near the Vineyard Tuesday. The sighting off the Gay Head Cliffs is for the record books, a first for the Vineyard in a long time.

The Northeast Right Whale is one of the world’s most endangered marine mammals, with only slightly more than 300 known to be in existence. One was observed from an airplane while it was feeding.