The critically endangered North Atlantic right whale is one of the rarest whale species in the world. Once heavily hunted, the North Atlantic right whale has not recovered from the pressure of historic whaling.

Vulnerable to vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear, this species suffers mortality from human activities. Its recovery is threatened by low reproduction, habitat loss, disease and environmental contaminants. Solutions to reduce human impact on right whales exist, but implementation remains a challenge.


Support Critical Research: Sponsor a Right Whale

With fewer than 600 North Atlantic right whales alive today, Aquarium reserachers are working tirelessly to study and protect this critically endangered species. Show your support for these conservation efforts by sponsoring a right whale.


Right Whale Research Blog

Follow the Aquarium's right whale researchers in the field, and stay up to date on ongoing efforts to protect these animals in the wild.



Our program is the longest-running and most comprehensive North Atlantic right whale research and conservation initiative in the world.


We are working to conserve this critically endangered whale by reducing the risk of ship strikes, decreasing the threat of fishing gear entanglement and increasing our knowledge of right whale behavior, genetics and population structure.

Results and Successes

Our Right Whale Research Project is helping conserve right whales by reducing their risk of being struck by ships and increasing our understanding of individual histories and family relationships.

North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog

With more than 200,000 photographs dating back to 1935, the North Atlantic Right Whale Photo-Identification Catalog is the most complete right whale identification resource available to researchers today.

North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium

The New England Aquarium is an integral part of the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium. The Consortium includes individuals and organizations active in right whale research, conservation and management. Together, we are working to ensure the long-term conservation and recovery of right whales in the North Atlantic.

Right Whale Research News Archive

Right Whale Research News (RWRN) is the biannual newsletter of the New England Aquarium Right Whale Research Team. Read or download past issues.



The New England Aquarium proudly recognizes our Corporate Conservation Partner for the North Atlantic right whale. Learn more about this partnership.


We are also grateful for support from ENERNOC. ENERNOC aggregates thousands of energy customers around the world to achieve energy savings, forestall the need for new power plants, and reduce carbon emissions. ENERNOC was drawn to the Aquarium’s right whale program because of the program’s mission and our efforts to assemble and interpret large quantities of data in unprecedented ways. For more information, see