Accidental deaths of endangered whale threatens its survival

Accidental deaths of endangered whale threatens its survival

Portland, Maine | A high number of accidental deaths this year among endangered North Atlantic whales threaten the survival of the species, according to conservation groups and marine scientists.

Free whales this summer outside of New England and Canada are among the most threatened marine mammals on Earth. It is believed that there are only 500 giant animals left, and can not be less than 460, while the population had recovered slightly from the time of the whaling, when they are almost extinct.

Twelve whales are known to have disappeared since April, about 2 percent of the population perished in a few months, said biologist Regina Asmutis-Silvia Group of Plymouth, Massachusetts whale and dolphin conservation, The Associated Press this week.

She and others who study whales have said that this summer has been the worst season of whale deaths funny because their hunt became illegal there 80 years.

“This level of deaths in such a short time is unprecedented,” he said. “Just do not know that free whales have time to understand them. They need help now.”

Ten of the deaths were on the Atlantic coast of Canada, while two were from Massachusetts. Four animals have shown evidence of collision between vessels, while another appeared to have been entangled in fishing nets and at least one is still waiting for a necropsy, Asmutis-Silvia said. Some were too decomposed to determine the cause of death, he said.

Asmutis-Silvia and other conservatives have said that the deaths demonstrate the need to strengthen regulations to prevent attacks and guts in the US. And Canada.

Scott Kraus, director of the whale research program at the New England Aquarium, said that it is possible that whales are more vulnerable to today’s dangers because they travel more because of changes in food availability or warming The oceanic waters.

“When whales travel more, they put themselves at greater risk,” Kraus said.

The 12 deaths are just the observed mortality, and could be the additional natural death in nature, Kraus said.

The future of whale rescue work has been the subject of debate since veteran rescuer Joe E. Howlett died on July 10 following the release of a whale off the coast of New Brunswick, Canada.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has responded by suspending its efforts for free whale wrapped in fishing lines and later announced that rescue teams will resume most operations.

Maritime regulators in the US And Canada have said that the government focuses on protecting whales. Speed ​​restrictions have significantly reduced the number of deaths in strikes by free-ship whales, said Mike Asaro, chief of the branch of marine mammals and sea turtles in the NOAA Atlantic.

The Canadian Fisheries and Oceans regulation uses a variety of new ways to try to assist whales, including surveillance flights along the Gulf of San

Lawrence and the closing of a snow crab fishery, said Sarah Gilbert, a spokeswoman for the department. The Canadian government recently announced new speed restrictions for ships.

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