Infant deaths, ship strikes and entanglements continue to bedevil the small herd of endangered Northern Right Whales that move seasonally between Florida and the Bay of Fundy.
Boston-based New England Aquarium researchers have discovered 2 Atlantic Right Whales with fishing gear in their mouths. This photo shows “Ruffian”, one of the entangled whales. Check the news sidebar in this blog for ongoing reports on this sadly common drama.
Researchers Amy Knowlton and Clay George have long been pushing for changes in the fishing industry that would decrease the risk of whale entanglement. Both are quick to note that the industry is resistant to change and progress has been slow. “We are hoping to keep working with the industry to develop alternative marine gear that is less likely to harm whales but will still benefit fishers,” Knowlton said. “It’s hard work. But we are trying to find a solution that is win-win.” (Anna Furgeson, the Brunswick News)