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Ocean Life in Alaska

  • Right Whale

    North Pacific Right Whale
    Eubalaena japonica

    Where do north Pacific right whales live?

    In 2000, north Pacific right whales were recognized as a species separate from north Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). In the north Pacific two populations are found: the western north Pacific/Okhotsk Sea and the eastern north Pacific. Migratory patterns of north Pacific right whales are unclear: they spend the summer on high-latitude feeding grounds and are thought to migrate to temperate waters during the winter. Recent sightings of north Pacific right whales have been reported as far south as Baja California, Mexico, as far west as Hawaii in the central north Pacific, and as far north as the sub-arctic waters of the Bering Sea in the summer. Off Alaska they have been seen in Bristol Bay and off Kodiak Island.

    What do north Pacific right whales eat?

    North Pacific right whales scoop up hundreds of gallons of seawater and use their baleen to trap zooplankton. The zooplankton are "licked off" the baleen by the whale's bristly tongue and swallowed in one big gulp.

    Learn more about north Pacific right whales!