Featured Image Credit: Brian Skerry
By: Sarah Sharkey
Right whales are among the rarest mammals in the world, only about 500 are still alive today. Recently, there has been a string of right whale deaths that have sparked more concern for the long-term survival of this species.
10 whales have been found dead off the coast of Canada and 3 off the coast of Massachusetts. This is a shocking total of 13 when according to officials four would be an appropriate average number of dead whales.
The U.S. and Canada are teaming up to understand what is behind this recent string of deaths. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada are the two agencies directing resource to their shared endeavor.
The goal of the operation is to understand why 13 right whales have been found dead in the past year and then find a solution to the apparent problem. Protected species monitoring program branch chief for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region, David Gouveia said, “The North Atlantic right whale is fragile, and one of NOAA and DFO’s most difficult conservation challenges. Every factor impacting their ability to thrive is significant.”
The investigation will likely take months, but hopefully, at the end officials will have a clear understanding of what is going wrong and how to make it right for these right whales.
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