Ship Carries Message of Conservation and Education to Historic Whaling Grounds
Provincetown, Mass. (July 11, 2014) — Nearly 100 years after its last voyage, the whaleship Charles W. Morgan returned to sail among whales during a visit to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, one of the world’s premier whale watching sites. On a day sail out of Provincetown, Mass. on Friday, July 11, the ship encountered humpback whales on the sanctuary.
In company with the sanctuary’s research vessel Auk, the Morgan lowered a whaleboat to pursue whales in a gesture to symbolize the change in humankind’s relationship with the oceans and marine mammals.
The Morgan, a National Historic Landmark built in 1841, is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels and is the flagship of the watercraft collection at Mystic Seaport, the nation’s leading maritime museum located in Mystic, Connecticut.
The Morgan is on its first sailing voyage since 1921. Over an 80-year whaling career, the Morgan sailed on 37 voyages to the remote corners of the globe. During this historic 38th voyage to ports across southern New England, the ship is spending several days from July 11-13 visiting the sanctuary. While there, the Morgan crew is teaming with the National Marine Sanctuaries staff to conduct outreach activities highlighting the sanctuary’s role in whale conservation and ocean research.
The public is able to follow the Morgan’s visit to the sanctuary on OceansLIVE (http://www.OceansLIVE.org), which broadcast from the vessel and other locations, offering interviews and commentary with historians, scientists, authors and artists discussing the shift from whaling to watching in New England.
Stretching between Cape Ann and Cape Cod, offshore of Massachusetts, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is a critical feeding and nursery ground for several whale and dolphin species, including the endangered humpback, North Atlantic right, sei and fin whales.
The sanctuary is a center for whale watching in New England. Ongoing research at the sanctuary is focused on better understanding whale behavior so as to reduce whale mortality caused by entanglement in commercial fishing gear and ship strikes. Human-induced sources of underwater noise and their potential impacts on marine animals are also topics of substantial concern among scientists.
The Morgan will continue to sail in the sanctuary on Saturday and Sunday, July 12-13.
High-definition video and still images are available for download on the Mystic Seaport press page.
Twitter: @mysticseaport, #charleswmorgan, #38thvoyage
About Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, Conn. Admission is $24 for adults and $15 for children ages 6-17. Museum members and children five-years-old and under are admitted free. For more information, please visit https://mysticseaport.wpengine.com/.
About Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Designated in 1992, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, encompasses 842 square miles of ocean, stretching between Cape Ann and Cape Cod offshore of Massachusetts. Renowned for its remarkable productivity, the sanctuary also is a top destination for whale watching.