The Right Whale East Coast Story


New England Aquarium Lecture with Asha de Vos, May 12, 2018


It’s always a great day to be at the New England Aquarium,especially if the is a guest marine ecologist giving a talk. On this warm springlike day Asha de Vos from Sri Lanka was talking about her work with the Blue Whale in the Indian Ocean. Fascinating that she is the only PHD in Sri Lanka that has a degree in Marine Ecology. She explained that 70 % on the planets coastlines are in third world countries and they have the least amount of resources and research going on in protecting the oceans…let alone degrees in marine ecology.



Asha’s love for the oceans lead her to study and build a community of activist and interested people in her own town called Oceanswell. She stressed the importance of building local activists scientist and engagement and not just drop by help. “It needs to be grassroots, we need engineers, business people, everyone engaged in our oceans”.

Asha brought our attention to the changing global climate of Shipping, how its projected to double in the next twenty years. Asha spoke of global trade and it’s affect on ocean life and the urgency to address the current problems and the potential upcoming problems. Currently more than 80 whales are killed by shipping accidents…not to mention how noise pollution affects their travel routes as well as offsprings.


Entanglement is another large threat to these ancient creatures that evolved 50 million years ago. Currently on the East Coast the Right Whale is under threat..we only have 450 surviving ones. Its been reported that 18 have died this year and that there are no calfs. The other problem that the Right Wales encounter is the problem of entanglement. They get trapped in lines from boats and buoys.


Scientists are projecting that the Right Whale will become extinct if nothing is done in about 20 years. W2O (Women Working for Oceans) s has joined forces this year to bring about more awareness for protecting the Right Whale . More info on getting involved or volunteering can be found W20. Also they have set up this amazing fund for giving grants to marine conservation efforts all over the world @MCAF_NEAQ . These grants have a huge impact in allowing scientists like Asha de Vos continue with her research on Blue Whales.

Amazing inspiring talk with Asha de Vos