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Rare North Atlantic right whale spotted feeding off N.H. coast

The whale can be seen emerging briefly from the water
Dan Tuohy
The North Atlantic Right Whale was spotted off the coast of North Hampton on May 6, 2022.

New Hampshire’s coast had a rare visitor Friday: a North Atlantic right whale could be seen feeding just off the shore in North Hampton.

The right whale has been on the federal endangered species list since 1970. There are fewer than 350 left.

Dianna Schulte, director of research for the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, has observed right whales in New England for over 25 years — but never one right off the New Hampshire coastline.

“It is extremely rare for a North Atlantic right whale to be that close around here," Schulte said. "To have that endangered of an animal coming in and having a bunch of people be able to look at it from the beach is actually really special for all those folks who did get to see it."

Dan is a long-time New Hampshire journalist who has written for outlets including Foster's Daily Democrat, The Citizen of Laconia, The Boston Globe, and The Eagle-Tribune. He comes to NHPR from the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he reported on state, local, and national politics.