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Sunday, February 15, 2009

NOAA Blames Bay of Fundy Fishermen for Whale Entanglement

Canadian lobster gear nearly caused whale to drown: U.S. agency

Canadian lobster gear has been identified as the likely culprit in the near-drowning of a rare North Atlantic right whale, according to an alert issued by the U.S. government's oceanic agency about a sudden spike in the number of entanglements threatening one of North America's most endangered species.

With fewer than 400 of the giant mammals known to exist, any report of a North Atlantic right whale in distress in U.S. waters triggers a rapid response by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies mandated to protect the species.

In late December, rescue crews raced to an area off the coast of Florida to free two right whales that had become entangled in fishing lines somewhere along their East Coast migration route.

One of the animals, born in 2007 and known only as "calf of right whale 1701," had been spotted last September free of fishing lines and feeding in the Bay of Fundy between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

The effort to free those whales proved successful, and NOAA has now released a statement saying researchers "have preliminarily identified the gear removed from one of these whales as Canadian lobster gear."

......

Canadian Whale Institute spokesman Jerry Conway told Canwest News Service in a recent interview. "Canada has taken the position that this is not an issue of serious concern."

More ...

Photo from Wikimedia.com

1 comment:

  1. Auntie C12:57 PM

    Hi, Art--
    Sad to read this; I live on the SE coast of NC, and shrimping and fishing are major local income sources. We now have humpbacks and others cruising thru our offshore waters; a juvie humpback was found stranded last week on our beach. Had been dead for a day or so, our investigators determined; thin, and dehydrated...turns out probable cause was entanglement....Crowds gathered, but I couldn't bear to see a whale in this condition, so did not go. He was buried above the high tide line, after the marine folks finished...
    How to solve this problem?
    Keep up the good work.
    Carol Owens

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