'Don't hope she survives', right whale entangled off the coast of New England

‘Don’t hope she survives’, right whale entangled off the coast of New England

The New England Aquarium said a North Atlantic right whale was spotted Wednesday about 15 miles south of Nantucket entangled in new fishing gear. Now they believe the whale is going to die. “Eighteen months ago it was hoped that the disentanglement efforts could remove enough gear and that it would allow him to survive. Now she is covered in orange cyamides. She was moving so slowly she couldn’t dive, she just sank. She suffers. There is no longer any hope for its survival,” said research assistant Sharon Hsu. Scientists immediately alerted a disentanglement team, but due to ocean conditions created by Hurricane Fiona, response efforts are on hold for now. call for the urgent need for dramatic changes in fixed gear fishing, including accelerating the transition to ropeless or “on-demand” gear. In March 2021, Snow Cone was spotted with her fourth entanglement in fishing gear. She gained international attention in December 2021 when researchers at right whale calving grounds off the southeastern United States spotted her with a newborn calf. Snow Cone was still entangled, with a rope deep in his upper jaw. “We are witnessing the slow death of one of the few breeding female North Atlantic right whales, and the deterioration and suffering she has suffered is inexcusable,” said Heather Pettis, a researcher at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life from the Aquarium. “While horrific in itself, Snow Cone is not alone in its experience. Over 86% of right whales have experienced at least one and some individuals as many as eight entanglements, and the severity of these events has increased over time. It is estimated that there are fewer than 350 North Atlantic right whales left in the world.

According to the New England Aquarium, a North Atlantic right whale was spotted Wednesday about 15 miles south of Nantucket, entangled in new fishing gear.

Scientists say they spotted Snow Cone and say she was still carrying material from a previous entanglement. Now they believe the whale is going to die.

“Eighteen months ago it was hoped that the disentanglement efforts might remove enough equipment and that it would allow her to survive. Now she’s covered in orange cyamides [whale lice]. She was moving so slowly she couldn’t dive, she just sank. She suffers. There is no longer any hope for its survival,” said research assistant Sharon Hsu.

Scientists immediately alerted a disentanglement team, but due to ocean conditions created by Hurricane Fiona, response efforts are on hold for the time being.

The aquarium says this case highlights what they call the urgent need for sweeping changes in fixed gear fishing, including accelerating the transition to ropeless or “on-demand” gear.

In March 2021, Snow Cone was spotted with his fourth entanglement in fishing gear. She gained international attention in December 2021 when researchers at right whale calving grounds off the southeastern United States spotted her with a newborn calf. Snow Cone was still entangled, with a rope deep in his upper jaw.

“We are witnessing the slow death of one of the few breeding female North Atlantic right whales, and the deterioration and suffering she has suffered is inexcusable,” said Heather Pettis, a researcher at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life from the Aquarium. “While horrific in itself, Snow Cone is not alone in its experience. Over 86% of right whales have experienced at least one and some individuals as many as eight entanglements, and the severity of these events has increased over time. time. “

The aquarium says Snow Cone is the fifth North Atlantic right whale that has been spotted this year with fishing gear attached. It is estimated that there are fewer than 350 North Atlantic right whales left in the world.

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