Entangled Right Whale Spotted Off New England

Entangled Right Whale Spotted Off New England
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#SaveThe­Whales #Right­Whale #Ocean­Con­ser­va­tion #Endan­gered­Species

This year is a total night­mare for the crit­i­cal­ly endan­gered North Atlantic right whale. Just when things could­n’t get worse, fed­er­al offi­cials spot­ted one entan­gled in rope off the coast of New England.

There are less than 360 of these majes­tic crea­tures left, and fish­ing gear and ship strikes are their worst ene­mies. This poor whale was seen 50 miles south of Block Island, Rhode Island, with rope stick­ing out of both its mouth! 

Mak­ing things even tougher, it’s super far from shore so res­cuers are hav­ing a hard time reach­ing it. NOAA is on the case though, mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion and wait­ing for a safe chance to intervene.

This isn’t the first bad news for right whales this year. Sev­er­al have already died off Geor­gia and Mass­a­chu­setts, and con­ser­va­tion­ists are wor­ried sick they might go extinct. The pop­u­la­tion has shrunk by a whop­ping 25% since 2010!

One right whale found dead near Martha’s Vine­yard showed clear signs of entan­gle­ment injury. This is why envi­ron­men­tal groups are push­ing for stricter fish­ing gear reg­u­la­tions to pro­tect these gen­tle giants. Sad­ly, a recent bud­get pack­age actu­al­ly delayed new whale pro­tec­tion rules for six whole years!

“We need stronger safe­guards against entan­gle­ments in US waters NOW,” said Gib Bro­gan of Oceana. These whales used to be all over the East Coast, but com­mer­cial whal­ing near­ly wiped them out. It’s tak­ing for­ev­er for them to recov­er, and cli­mate change is mak­ing things even harder. 

Warm­ing waters are shift­ing their food sources, forc­ing them out of pro­tect­ed areas and right into dan­ger zones.

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