Endangered North Atlantic Whale Found Dead in Massachusetts – We Need to Do Better
Before you continue reading, it is important to know that there are only about 360 North Atlantic Whales left in the world, according to a New York Times article.
Humans don't care enough about endangered species until they see an appalling small number. That is now. Let's not let that number get to double digits...
Last week, an endangered North Atlantic whale was found dead off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, with a rope wrapped around it.
It gets worse. The whale was a female.
North Atlantic whales are native to New England waters. If you have ever gone whale watching in New England, you may have been looking for this exact type.
And if you did not see any whales on your trip, it is because their numbers are dropping, as they are an endangered species.
"Among the North Atlantic right whales remaining, fewer than 70 are reproductively active females, researchers estimate," according to the NY Times. "Entanglements have killed at least nine of the whales and injured 70 others since 2017, according to NOAA."
Just days ago, these beautiful creatures were spotted off the Cape.
The video claims that scientists on a research boat saw somewhere between four to seven North Atlantic Whales on their last trip.
And it is all too likely that one of these whales was the one that was washed ashore with a rope tied around it.
“It’s devastating to hear about another loss to North Atlantic right whales,” said Oceana campaign director Gib Brogan to the NY Times. “This death is even more troubling when it is a female calf that could have gone on to have many calves of her own for decades to come.”
As someone who eats seafood regularly, I understand the importance of ropes while fishing. That said, we can do better as a whole to minimize the impact we have on the animals that we share the world with, especially endangered ones.
"When ropes wrap around whales’ bodies, it can slow them down, making it difficult to swim, feed and reproduce," scientists said to NY Times. "The rope could also cut into the flesh, causing life-threatening infections. Conservation groups have urged fishermen to use gear with less rope, called on-demand or ropeless systems, to protect the whales."
Now I am not saying fishermen should not use ropes. What I am saying is we all need to do our part. Just today, while driving on 95, I saw three large plastic bags floating in the wind. Those bags will reach our ocean and kill some type of wildlife.
And you may think, "Out of sight, out of mind", but that is NOT the mentality to have. If we all tightened up how we use plastic, dispose of garbage, and other small measures, we could greatly impact the wildlife that we share this region of the world with.