The sighting of three new North Atlantic right whale calves off the coasts of Georgia and Florida Monday raised the number of new whales of the endangered species to nine, according to a statement issued by the Center for Coastal Studies.

“These recent sightings are good news,” said Right Whale Ecology Program Director Dr. Stormy Mayo of the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS), in a statement on Wednesday. "However, in order for this population to recover, we must see a substantial increase each year in the number of newborns. Fortunately, the calving season is still underway and hopefully more will appear in the weeks ahead.”

While the calves were born further south, the whales migrate north towards Cape Cod where they spend a large portion of their lives.

The three mothers are named Calvin, Echo and Arrow, according to CCS, a Provincetown-based reasearch center focused on the preservation of ocean habitats and species.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are only 400 northern right whales left in the world, and of that number, only 100 are breeding females.

Mayo said that while the nine recent births are great and a substantial improvement from the seven recorded last calving season, it does not signal an immediate reversal in the species' fortunes. Indeed, ship strikes, entaglements and "other unidentified causes" killed ten whales in 2019, bringing their numbers under 400.

"Frankly, we need more than the nine whales this year to begin to feel any relief on this story because the mortality rates are still very high," he said. "So, nine is great and this is an extraordinarily rare animal in the world. But, we need to see more calves in the world."