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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.
Tatiana Schlossberg reports for The Washington Post about the potential of seaweed to dramatically reduce methane emissions from cows. It turns out that Asparagopsis taxiformis and Asparagopsis armata — two species of crimson submarine grass — can reduce those emissions by 98% when just a small amount is added to their food. Now several companies are working […]
ABC News reports that there is a creeping underground invasion of our coasts, and it is moving inland much faster than had been previously thought, according to new research funded by the National Science Foundation. The stealth invader? Saltwater, which is infiltrating our coastal communities and creating unseen risks well in advance of the surface floods that drown our homes and businesses.
Why this Matters: This problem will become more and more common as climate change continues, causing widespread displacement across the world.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer According to a 2020 U.N. environmental report, seagrass “prairies” play a massive role in the health of the world’s oceans and if nothing is done to stop their decline, the world will face serious consequences. Seagrasses support rich biodiversity that sustains a whopping 20% of the world’s fisheries, and […]
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