right whales

Wells Police Department

An endangered North Atlantic right whale has been swimming off the coast of York County — a rare sighting of the giant mammal at a time when its population may be headed toward extinction.

The whale has been seen swimming — and spouting — off Cape Neddick, Ogunquit, and Wells over the past few days. Tony LaCasse, a spokesman at the New England Aquarium, says right whales historically have spent time in the spring in eastern Cape Cod Bay, but this year have been showing up closer to the mainland shore — including in the Marblehead, Massachusetts, area.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA research permit #15488

A group of New England senators is calling on the U.S. government to speed up an analysis of Canada’s efforts to protect the endangered North American right whale, and to consider trade action if Canada’s rules do not prove as strong as in the U.S.

Proposal To Review Canada's Right Whale Protections Gets Chilly Reception

May 1, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine - A group of Democratic senators says the U.S. government should audit the job Canada is doing to protect endangered whales.
 
The senators, led by Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, cite the dire status of North Atlantic right whales as a reason to put some pressure on Canada. The right whales number only about 450 and suffered through a year of 17 deaths in 2017, and 12 of the deaths were in Canada.
 

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is giving the state of Maine more than $700,000 to help provide better data to try to protect endangered right whales.
 
The Maine Department of Marine Resources say the grant funds a three-year project set to begin this summer that will support work aimed at improving and increasing the amount of data on fishing gear. The data can be used to inform future protections for the whales.
 

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

NANTUCKET, Mass. - Federal ocean managers are extending a voluntary speed restriction zone off of Massachusetts to try to help protect endangered right whales.
 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established the zone to protect a group of eight North Atlantic right whales spotted 20 nautical miles south of Nantucket on March 29. The agency says the zone will be in effect through April 12.
 
NOAA asks mariners to route around the area altogether or transit through it at 10 knots or less.
 

Jesica Waller / University of Maine Darling Marine Center

New science is bearing down on a poorly understood part of the North American lobster’s diet. And it turns out that a tiny crustacean’s abundance may help to explain expected declines in Maine’s lobster harvest.

Center for Biological Diversity

The population of the endangered North Atlantic right whale took a big hit last year with a record number found dead in Canadian waters from ship strikes and entanglements. With this year's calving season ending and no new births observed, an ongoing debate over whether Maine's lobster industry poses a mortal threat to the species is gaining new urgency.

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. - Scientists say dozens of endangered right whales have been spotted in Cape Cod Bay, but no babies have been reported yet this year.
 
The whales are among the most endangered marine mammals and they are coming off of a year of high mortality and low reproduction. They venture north in the spring every year to gorge on the tiny organisms that sustain them.
 

Peter Duley / NEFSC/NOAA

The North Atlantic right whale is the most endangered large whale species on Earth. The principal cause of right whale fatalities is entanglement with fishing gear, including lobster trap lines. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say new technology could stop these ensnarements, but some lobstermen say the cost of adopting the new gear would be prohibitive.

Woods Hole Director Michael Moore says the right whale is really in trouble, and something has to be done to stop entanglements.

Cynthia Christman / NOAA

NANTUCKET, Mass. - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is announcing a voluntary speed restriction zone south of Nantucket to protect a group of rare whales.
 
The federal agency said Tuesday that the restriction for mariners will be in effect through Feb. 5 to protect a group of 22 North Atlantic right whales seen south of Nantucket on Tuesday.
 
Right whales are among the most endangered marine mammals, and are coming off of a year of high mortality and low reproduction.
 

Peter Duley / NEFSC/NOAA

PORTLAND, Maine - Researchers with the federal government and the New England Aquarium say they've developed a new model to provide better estimates about the North Atlantic right whale population, and the news isn't good.
 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the model could be critically important to saving the endangered species, which is in the midst of a year of high mortality. The agency says the analysis shows the probability the population has declined since 2010 is nearly 100 percent.
 

Cynthia Christman / NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is officially launching an investigation into the unusually high numbers of North Atlantic right whale deaths this year.

NOAA has declared an "Unusual Mortality Event," after at least 13 of the rare whales have been found dead this year off New England and Canada.

BOSTON - A right whale found dead in waters near Cape Cod this week has been identified as a frequent visitor to the area that was first spotted off the Cape in 1992.
 
The Cape Cod Times reports the 26-year-old female whale named Couplet was identified Thursday through photos in a database at the New England Aquarium.
 

Accidental Deaths of Endangered Whale Threatens Its Survival

Aug 15, 2017
Peter Duley / NEFSC/NOAA

PORTLAND, Maine - Marine conservation groups say accidental deaths this year among the endangered North Atlantic right whales threaten the species survival.

Right whales are among the most imperiled marine mammals on Earth. No more than 500 of them still exist in the wild.

Biologist Regina Asmutis-Silvia says at least 12 whales have died since April, or about 2 percent of the population in just a few months.

Peter Duley / NEFSC/NOAA

PORTLAND, Maine - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says rare right whales will be considered for disentanglement from fishing gear on a "case by case basis'' in the future.
 
The agency suspended efforts to free whales tangled in fishing line last week after a Canadian rescuer was killed by a right whale after freeing it. It has since announced that whale disentanglement will go forward, with rescue teams resuming most operations.
 

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