Apr 13, 2024
2 mins read
2 mins read

Right Whale Entangled Near New England, Latest Incident for the Species

Right Whale Entangled Near New England, Latest Incident for the Species

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWSnet/AP) — A North Atlantic right whale was spotted entangled in rope near New England, federal authorities said.

The entangled whale was seen April 9 about 50 miles south of Rhode Island’s Block Island, according to U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The whale has rope coming out of both sides of its mouth and has been far from shore, making it difficult for rescuers to help, NOAA said.

“Given the long distance from shore, experts were unable to safely travel to the last known location of the whale during daylight to attempt a rescue,” NOAA said. “NOAA Fisheries and our partners will monitor this whale and attempt to respond to the entanglement, if possible, as weather and safety conditions allow.”

Right whales number less than 360 and are vulnerable to entanglement in fishing gear and collisions with ships. Several have died in 2024, near Georgia and Massachusetts. Environmental groups fear the species could be headed for extinction. From 2010 to 2020, the animal’s population dropped by 25%.

A whale found dead in January near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, showed evidence of entanglement in fishing gear.

Environmental groups have called for stricter rules to protect the whales from entanglement. A federal budget package passed in late 2022 includes a six-year pause on new federal whale regulation.

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