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North Atlantic Right Whales: A Panel Discussion

April 26, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

North Atlantic Right Whales: A Panel Discussion
Thursday, April 26
6:00 pm
The Provincetown Public Library, in conjunction with the Center for Coastal Studies, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, is proud to announce a special panel discussion in honor of the Library’s third annual Moby-Dick Marathon Reading.

On Thursday, April 26, at 6:00 pm, all are invited to join Dr. Charles “Stormy” Mayo, Regina Asmutis-Silvia, Dennis Minsky, and Erin Burke for a discussion about the North Atlantic Right Whale. The panel will be held in the Marc Jacobs Reading Room, located on the Main Level ofthe Provincetown Public Library.

Once a preferred target for whalers, the North Atlantic Right Whale is now one of the most endangered of all large whales with only about 400 individuals in existence. The informal panel discussion will feature an open conversation on these animals, along with the various factors influencing them and their environment. Panelists will also discuss topics such as conservation efforts, government management, research, and activism in regard to the North Atlantic Right Whale.

The panelists have deep roots in Provincetown, whale research, the whale watch industry, and the history of whaling. Dr. Charles “Stormy” Mayo is an 11th generation Provincetowner, the opening reader for the third annual Moby-Dick Marathon, a descendent of whalers, and a co-founder of the Center for Coastal Studies in 1976 with his late wife, Dr. Barbara Mayo, and Dr. Graham Giese. Over the past four decades, Stormy Mayo has held the title of founder, director, marine animal entanglement responder and researcher at the Center. Currently he is a Senior Scientist and Director of the North Atlantic Right Whale Ecology Department where he oversees right whale biology and habitat research.

In recent years Dr. Mayo has directed an investigation of the interaction between food resources and North Atlantic Right Whales with a particular emphasis on the impact of anthropogenic change including the impacts of climate change on whale habitat. Dr. Mayo is also known for his efforts to reduce whale mortality caused by entanglements and appropriated certain whale hunting techniques to perform the first successful disentanglement of a free-swimming whale in 1984 in Provincetown Harbor.

A life-long student of nature, Dennis Minsky is the chair of Provincetown’s Conservation Commission and Open Space Committee. Minsky first was associated with the Center for Coastal Studies in 1995, and has been educating people about whales and the ocean ecosystem ever since, both on Dolphin Fleet whale watches and while walking the beach with his rescue dog Dory. He has worked in Provincetown since 1968 on various conservation jobs with the Park Service and on whale watches, moving here full time in 2005.

Regina Asmutis-Silvia, Executive Director and Senior Biologist for Whale and Dolphin Conservation – North America, has been active in whale research, conservation, and education since 1990. Ms. Asmutis-Silvia currently sits on the federally appointed Atlantic Large Whale, Harbor Porpoise, and Atlantic Trawl Gear Take Reduction Teams. Ms. Asmutis-Silvia has also spoken at length regarding the issue of whale entanglement and the government’s role in the North Atlantic Right Whale’s decline.

Protected Species Specialist Erin Burke joined the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries in 2005 and oversees the conservation and management programs for protected species in Massachusetts waters. In this capacity, Ms. Burke helps monitor the right whale population and protect these whales from human impacts such as entanglement in fishing gear and vessel collision.

For more information on the panel discussion or the Moby-Dick Marathon Reading, please contact Brittany Taylor at the Library btaylor@clamsnet.org.


April 26, 2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Provincetown Public Library: Second Level
356 Commercial Street
Provincetown, 02657 United States
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