NOAA Video (1:05 min)
The North Atlantic right whale lives in shallow nearshore waters. They are a very slow, very curious, and very rare baleen whale. The females come to the coastal waters of Florida and Georgia every year to give birth to their calves. This is the only place in the world where they do this. They then travel back north along the east coast of the US and Canada to their feeding ground.
In the days of whaling the North Atlantic right whales were hunted to the brink of extinction, and there they remain to this day. There are an estimated 400-500 individuals left alive. Unfortunately we humans still pose the biggest threats to the survival of this species today. These threats are:
1.) Ship strikes. Whales are being killed by boat collisions: lacerations from the propellers, internal blunt force trauma from the impact, or both. Boating too close can also separate baby whales from their mothers, and the babies can not survive alone.
2.) Entanglement in fishing gear. Fishing nets and ropes from crab/lobster pots become wrapped around the whales, preventing them from moving and feeding. Entanglement causes a very slow death for the whale.
The mortality rate that we humans cause is killing the whales faster than the rate at which they can reproduce. Every animal is critical to the survival of the species, and it is imperative that *everyone* boating and fishing in the right whale's home waters follows the measures necessary to avoid harming them. ♥ Please be aware!
NOAA Reminder: Keep your watercraft 500 yards away from Right Whales, it's the law!
Plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale: 8 Min Video
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Learn more about this cetacean species and many more at the WDC website!
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