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Why This Matters: A recent study by the U.S. and Canadian governments underscored that these whale deaths are most likely caused by humans and thus are preventable. it is good that the Canadian government has stepped up its efforts and recognizes the grave circumstances. “Protecting our endangered North Atlantic right whales is an important task, one that our government takes seriously,” said Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau. But whatever we have been doing thus far this year, it is not enough. And the new babies that have been identified will not be improving the situation if we lose adults of childbearing age.
Whales Swim Around And Into Harm’s Way
“One of the things that caught us off guard this year is that the right whales are in a really different location than in previous years,” said Kim Davies, an oceanographer and whale expert.
Davies also noted that said the “whales are present over a really, really large area of the Gulf and individual right whales move around constantly” — the problem is they aggregating further north and further east in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, closer to shipping lanes.
These Whales Were Not Anonymous
The first was a juvenile male known as Wolverine, who had been entangled in fishing gear and struck by ships.
Punctuation was a breeding female who had mothered eight calves and then gone on to have several grandchildren.
Comet was 33 years old male who was familiar to whale-watching experts who was believed to be a grandfather.
Another was a female identified as #3815 who was on the cusp of sexual maturity and had yet to give birth, according to the New England Aquarium.
The fifth was discovered along Anticosti Island in Quebec yesterday and the New England Aquarium identified as #3329, a 16-year-old female who had yet to calve.
The sixth, which has yet to be identified, was found drifting off Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula during an aerial surveillance flight.
It’s not just men in the fishing sector who are impacted by climate change, overfishing, and COVID-19 — women are too. Women like Alexia Jaurez of Sonora, Mexico, who is featured in this Environmental Defense Fund video, do the important work of monitoring the catch and the price, and most importantly determining how many more […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Last summer, Florida created its first aquatic preserve in over 30 years. The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve protects about 400,000 acres of seagrass just north of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf coast. These are part of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest seagrass bed and borders other existing preserves, creating a […]
A new study has found that whale songs can be a powerful tool for mapping the ocean floor. Seismic testing done by humans can harm whales and other marine life, but by using whale songs instead, scientists believe the practice can be adapted to be much less harmful to marine populations.
Why This Matters: For years, the fossil fuel industry has hauled “seismic guns” behind large boats, blasting loud, harmful bursts of sound that disturb sea life and impair the sonar of animals like whales and dolphins.
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