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Right Whale Off the Coast of Massachusetts in 2018 Photo: Michael Dwyer, AP
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wasted no time returning from the shutdown and extended restrictions on shipping in an area off Cape Cod on the way into Boston Harbor to protect the highly endangered Northern right whale.
The “Ship Strike Rule” mandates speed restrictions of no more than 10 knots for vessels 65 feet or greater in certain locations and at certain times of the year along the east coast of the United States.
The restrictions were set to expire off the coast of Massachusetts yesterday because most of the whales should have migrated south for the winter by now.
The Internation Fund for Animal Welfare has been working to develop fishing gear innovations such as sinking or neutrally buoyant line to reduce and prevent whale entanglement, with additional innovations in the works such as “ropeless” traps with a submersible buoy that goes down with the lobster trap, is geo-trackable, and retrieved via acoustic release technology.
And there is more good news for right whales — there have been juveniles spotted off the coast of Georgia — four so far. This is not a huge number but it is an improvement over last year when not a single right whale calf was spotted.
Why This Matters:We don’t have to choose between whale conservation and offshore renewable energy. Vineyard Wind will, in addition to limiting construction activities as needed, also invest $3 million to develop and deploy innovative technologies and undertake scientific research to further safeguard the marine mammals. This is a template for additional offshore wind projects that will be developed up and down the east coast.
Oysters are the unsung heroes of our oceans and estuaries. A single oyster can filter 50 gallons of water each day, while oyster reefs help protect coastal communities from erosion and storm surges and provide other marine species with habitat. In Pensacola, FL, The Nature Conservancy is leading the effort to place 33 oyster reefs […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A new study has found that half of the nation’s tidal marshes are at risk of being destroyed by sea-level rise, most of them along the southern coasts of the contiguous U.S. Now, members of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, whose one million residents live along coastal areas stretching from Jacksonville, North Carolina, to […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer St. Petersburg, Florida, has fallen victim to what could be one of the most prolonged red tides in recent history. Hundreds of tons of dead sea life have washed up on shores as the ecological disaster takes root, and experts say the end isn’t yet in sight. Officials are trying to pinpoint […]
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