Approximately one third of the North Atlantic right whale population has white ventral skin patches. Most white-marked animals have both a belly and a chin patch, and the distribution of white pigment suggests that the patches represent a single ventral marking that varies in size and location. Population frequencies and cow-calf inheritance patterns indicate that the white mark is an autosomal recessive trait. There is no evidence to suggest that ventral coloration patterns are currently under selection. White-marked and black cows appear to experience similar levels of reproductive success based on calving intervals and length of sighting histories. Also, white-marked animals were equally common among cows and nulliparous adult females and among live vs. dead animals. Male reproductive success could not be tested because calf paternity is not known; white-marked and black males exhibit similar survival rates. White-marked cows were more common among females that took some or all of their calves to the Bay of Fundy summer nursery area compared to females that did not visit Fundy. This suggests that female habitat-use patterns may influence nuclear gene flow. Increased sample sizes and additional markers are needed to further investigate gene flow.