First right whales are sighted off the coast of SC

The expectation of the ProFRANCA project is that they will come in greater numbers

They arrived! Right whales, which have the highest number of sightings on the southern coast of Brazil in winter, have been recorded in recent days. According to the ProFRANCA Project team, based in Imbituba and sponsored by Petrobras, through the Petrobras Socioambiental program, they should arrive in greater numbers soon. “We are happy because, it seems, the work of preservation and awareness regarding the sightings and contacts with the responsible bodies have yielded excellent results”, explains the biologist and project director, Karina Groch. “We have records of them in Praia Grande, in Cabo de Santa Marta; and in Laguna, in addition to the beaches of Ibiraquera and Vila Nova, in Imbituba, in recent days ”, she informs.

She recalls that, in just two days, between September 20 and 21, 2022, the ProFRANCA overflights detected about 250 of them, between mothers and offspring. At the time, the largest aggregations were in the cove of the beaches of Guarda do Embaú (Palhoça) and Gamboa (Garopaba), Siriú and central beach of Garopaba (Garopaba), Vila and Itapirubá Norte (Imbituba).

Since monitoring began in the 1980s, the highest number was recorded in 2018, when 273 whales were sighted. “The awareness and monitoring work has been essential for its preservation, conservation and increase of individuals. Hence our optimism”, clarifies Karina.

The breeding season for right whales in Brazil generally runs from July to November, with the peak occurring in September. However, the reproductive patterns of these animals fluctuate. The right whale has a three-year reproductive cycle, but we have observed changes in this pattern. “Normally these changes are associated with reproductive failures in females”, explains Eduardo Renault, Research Manager at ProFRANCA.

According to him, these failures can happen either when the female loses her calf or she simply does not get pregnant. What has led to this change in the cycle is still a mystery. However, strong evidence indicates that they are related to climate changes that alter the availability of food. “Currently, predicting the progress of the season is a great challenge, as many factors external to the reproductive area have been affecting the life of right whales”, notes Renault.

The ProFRANCA team is already prepared for another breeding season, committed to closely monitoring and studying these magnificent animals, in order to obtain valuable information about population dynamics and behavior.

Do you want to know where there are right whales?

ProFRANCA reports daily in its stories, on Instagram and Facebook, where right whales were sighted. On the Project website ( there are more details on how they are identified and a map of sightings.

ProFRANCA - Austral Franca Project - is carried out by the Australis Institute and is sponsored by Petrobras and the Federal Government, through the Petrobras Socioenvironmental Program.


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Journalist André Seben
WordCom – Press Office


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