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Endangered whale gives birth when entangled in fishing line

Scientists spotted an endangered right whale pulling a fishing line caught in its mouth as it swam with a newborn baby off the coast of Georgia, a rare confirmation of the birth the life of an entangled whale that experts determined they could not safely attempt to help. Clay George, a wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. It is the second confirmed right whale in the Atlantic waters of the southeastern United States during the species’ breeding season, which typically runs from December to March. The North Atlantic right whale is being affected. critically endangered, with scientists estimating just under 350 surviving. Adult females migrate to warmer waters off Georgia and Florida each winter to give birth. George said he was only aware of one other confirmed report, from January 2011, of an entangled right whale being seen with a newborn baby – and this fish eventually died on its own. be liberated. , has been pulling the fishing line at least since March. That’s when it was first reported entangled in Cape Cod Bay, off the coast of Massachusetts. Wildlife experts tried to shorten the rope before the whale headed south, but were unable to free it. “We’ve never seen a chronically entangled whale come down here from the north and have a calf,” George said, adding: “It’s amazing. But on the other hand, it could be a death sentence for her. “That’s because a mother whale can struggle both to care for her young and still have the energy needed to keep pulling the line while trying to recover. George said. The right female whales often burrow themselves into the waters where they feed and mate off New England and Canada before heading south to give birth. They won’t eat again until they get back – a round trip can take three months or so. Trained rescuers on a boat approached the mother whale and her young on Thursday. After consulting with other experts, George said, the response team concluded that any attempt to remove or further shorten the fishing line would pose too great a risk to the whales. and crew. Plan the breeding season to monitor the couple. George said: “My concern is that she still has two pieces of rope, about 20 feet long, coming out from the left side of her mouth. “If those two pieces of rope ended up together and there was a loop, you can imagine that the last calf could get entangled.” close to 10% of their population last year, with their overall population dwindling to an estimated 336. Right whales were exterminated during commercial whaling, when they were hunted for get oil. Now scientists say entanglement in fishing gear and collisions with ships are killing whales that must be faster than they can reproduce.

Scientists spotted an endangered right whale pulling a fishing line caught in its mouth as it swam with a newborn baby off the coast of Georgia, a rare confirmation of the birth the life of an entangled whale that experts determined they could not safely attempt to help.

Related video above: Researchers sound the alarm of another North Atlantic right whale population decline

Clay George, a wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said the baby whale looked healthy and uninjured when an aerial survey team spotted it Thursday with its mother near Cumberland Island, Georgia, said Clay George, a wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

It is the second confirmed cetacean in the Atlantic waters of the southeastern United States during the species’ breeding season, which typically runs from December to March.

The North Atlantic right whale is critically endangered, with scientists estimating just under 350 surviving. Adult females migrate to warmer waters off Georgia and Florida each winter to give birth. George said he was only aware of one other confirmed report, from January 2011, of an entangled right whale being seen with a newborn baby – and the fish eventually died on its own. be liberated.

The female whale discovered last week, identified by the unique markings on her head, has been pulling the line at least since March. That’s when it was first reported entangled in Cape Cod Bay, off the coast of Massachusetts. Wildlife experts tried to shorten the rope before the whale headed south, but were unable to free it.

“We’ve never seen a chronically entangled whale come down here from the north and give birth to a calf,” said George.

Here & # x20; December & # x20; 2, & # x20; 2021, & # x20; photo & # x20; provided & # x20; by & # x20; Department & # x20; Georgia & # x20; Department & # x20; of & # x20; Resources & # x20; Natural & # x20; shows & # x20; an & # x20; endangered & # x20; North & # x20; Atlantic Ocean & # x20; right & # x20; whale & # x20; entangled & # x20; in & # x20; fishing & # x20; wire & # x20; be & # x20; display & # x20; with & # x20; a & # x20; newborn & # x20; calf & # x20; at & # x20; waters & # x20; near & # x20; Cumberland & # x20; Island, & # x20; Ga.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources / NOAA Permit No. 20556 via AP

December 2, 2021, this photo provided by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources shows an endangered North Atlantic right whale entangled in a fishing line being seen with a newborn calf in the waters near Cumberland Island, Station.

That’s because the mother whale can struggle to both breastfeed and have the energy needed to keep pulling the line while also trying to heal potential injuries to her mouth, George said. The right female whales often burrow themselves into the waters where they feed and mate off New England and Canada before heading south to give birth. They won’t eat again until they get back – a round trip can take three months or so.

Trained rescuers on a boat approached the mother whale and her young on Thursday. After consulting with other experts, George said, the response team concluded that any attempt to remove or further shorten the fishing line would pose too great a risk to the whales. and crew.

Jaguars who sweep the water daily for whales and their young during the breeding season plan to keep an eye on the pair.

George said: “My concern is that she still has two pieces of rope, about 20 feet long, coming out from the left side of her mouth. “If those two pieces of rope ended up together and there was a loop, you can imagine that calf could end up getting entangled.”

In October, scientists and advocates from the North Atlantic Right Whale Association said they suspect cetaceans lost nearly 10 percent of their populations last year, with a total Their body is reduced to about 336.

Right whales were exterminated during commercial whaling, when they were hunted for their oil. Now scientists say entanglement in fishing gear and collisions with ships are killing whales that must be faster than they can reproduce.

https://www.kcra.com/article/north-atlantic-right-whale-gives-birth-entangled-in-fishing-rope/38444043 Endangered whale gives birth when entangled in fishing line

JOE HERNANDEZ

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