Four Killer Whales Spotted 40 Miles South Of Nantucket

Nantucket Current •

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Four Killer Whales were spotted by the New England Aquarium about 40 miles south of Nantucket on Sunday. Photo courtesy of the New England Aquarium.

In a rare sighting south of Nantucket, four killer whales were spotted by New England Aquarium scientists as the research team flew aerial surveys 40 miles south of the island on Sunday.

It is “always unusual to see killer whales in New England waters,” said Orla O’Brien, an associate research scientist who leads the aerial survey team for the Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life. “Seeing them swim in formation was just unreal. We believe the sighting to be two males and two females, but that hasn’t been confirmed.”

The sighting comes after another Orca was spotted Monday off Provincetown by a charter boat.

The only killer whale seen regularly in North Atlantic waters is “Old Thom,” a large male orca who is known to swim alone, sometimes alongside dolphins, in the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy. He was last spotted in Massachusetts waters in May 2022, off of Cape Cod.

The four orcas were among nearly 150 whales and dolphins that the New England Aquarium team spotted during the seven-hour flight, including 23 fin whales counting a mother and calf, five minke whales, 62 bottlenose dolphins, and 20 humpback whales bubble feeding.

All photography is courtesy of the New England Aquarium.

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Orca pod 4
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