North Atlantic right whales recovery hurt by entanglements, scientists say

North_Atlantic_right_whaleThe ability of an endangered whale species to recover is jeopardized by increasing rates of entanglement in fishing gear and a resultant drop in birth rates, according to scientists who study the animal. The population of North Atlantic right whales has slowly crept up from about 300 in 1992 to about 500 in 2010. But a study that appeared this month in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science said the number of baby right whales born every year has declined by nearly 40 percent since 2010. Study author Scott Kraus, a scientist with the New England Aquarium in Boston who worked on the study, said the whales’ population suffers even when they survive entanglements in fishing gear. Entanglements have surpassed ship strikes as a leading danger to right whales in recent years. Forty-four percent of diagnosed right whale deaths were due to ship strikes and 35 percent were due to entanglements from 1970 to 2009, the study said. From 2010 to 2015, 15 percent of diagnosed deaths were due to ship strikes and 85 percent were due to entanglements, it said. Read the article here 09:10

One Response to North Atlantic right whales recovery hurt by entanglements, scientists say

  1. Jim Kendall says:

    While any loss is a tragedy, the way you presented the incidents, by percentages, in no way conveys the actual numbers of incidents or takes! Please provide us with actual or estimated numbers, if at all possible, rather than leave us with an unknown.
    “The relative number of mortalities &/or births given in terms of percentages, does not provide us with a real or clear understanding, therefore the impacts to the species are not truly known, & understandable!”
    Jim Kendall – NBSC
    Sept. 1, 2016

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