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Hancock the humpback reminds us that a world without whales is no world at all

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Her name is Hancock and she was born in 1991 to a mother named Clipper. She is a beautiful sleek blue-grey color, makes soft whooshing sounds as she moves and she loves to eat herring. She is gentle, intelligent and brings out the awww in everyone she meets.

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Hancock and her kind are not on the top of most people's list of animals in need of help, but thanks to the many dedicated and insightful individuals at New England Coastal Widlife Alliance, Captain John Whale Watching and others working together, these endangered creatures are not forgotten.

On a recent trip out to the southern side of Stellwagen Bank a pod of Humpback whales such as Hancock was filmed feeding and even Krill Carson of NECWA was impressed. "A once in a lifetime sight for all of us on board, even us old timers. We need to keep our oceans healthy with abundant bait fish stocks for whales, seals, sharks, seabirds and other marine wildlife. Climate change, ocean acidification, marine debris, pollution, over-fishing, etc. are all putting pressures on this system. The basic truth is "no bait fish = no whale." I would hate to live in a world with few whales! Become educated on the topics and then ACT. Today, it is not enough to simply CARE, we have to become involved on behalf of these deserving animals."

So far this year more than 165 Humpback whales and calves have been sighted by those lucky enough to be out sightseeing, and those who are doing their part to make a difference for this species and all the others. Many marine animals including whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea turtles are protected by the Marine Mammal Act of 1972 and/or the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

And, as with many of our more well-known companion animals, Humpbacks such as Hancock, and ten other species, are up for adoption. By adopting you will support efforts to better understand and protect the unique coastal marine wildlife off of the New England shores. And although you will not be able to take your new friend home and snuggle, you will be able to have a photo, fact sheet, certificate and more to show off to others and explain how you are making a positive impact for the ocean and for the world.

For those who do not want a new "pet," memberships and donations to organizations such as NECWA and PCCS can also help the many scientists, interns, observers and others continue their important work. Because every creature is deserving of a safe and happy home.

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