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World Affairs Council Hilton Head

Right Whales are our Neighbors

12 Jan 2022 11:35 AM | Anonymous

We are so grateful for the wonderful presentation that Dr. J. Micheal Williamson gave at our Evening Speaker Program on January 11, 2022. His passion for these animals, along with all his knowledge made for a great evening. If you missed it, here are a few highlights of what he covered:

Why are they called Right Whales?

Centuries ago, whalers & fishermen recognized that these types of whales where the “right” type of whale to hunt and kill because 1), they stayed close to shore and were easy to catch, 2) they float when killed so it was easy to access them, 3)they have baleens which are very useful and sought after, and 4) have a lot of blubber and oil.

How big does a Right Whale get?

An adult will be about 45- 52 Feet long and weigh up to 51,000 pounds

How often does a Right Whale have a calf and how big are the calves when born?

They can have a calf every three years and calves are between 15-23 feet long and can weigh up to 2000 pounds!

What do the whales eat?

They eat copepods, which is a form of plankton. They eat a lot of it!

What is the biggest reason for their current population decline?

The leading threats to right whales involve human interaction, including vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. Experts agree that there is no question that human activities are driving this species toward extinction.

They live all along the lower SC and GA coast, so keep an look out for them over the spring when they head down to Puerto Rico to mate. 


World Affairs Council of Hilton Head

Office: 200 Main St. #201 M, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Mail: PO Box 22523, Hilton Head Island, SC 29925

843-384-6758  |

Member, World Affairs Council of America

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