Scientists and conservationists are demanding a prompt response after six whales have died in the last month. The North Atlantic whales were found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence of Canada, and at least three of them appear to have died after being hit by ships.
There are more than 400 of these whales at the moment on the list of endangered species. The deaths have led scientists, government officials and conservationists to call for a swift response to protect these animals. Philip Hamilton, a research scientist at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life in the New England Aquarium, says that these deaths are more concerning because some of them were females. The whale population has only about 100 reproductive females, so this is extremely troubling.
Scientists Demand A Prompt Response After Six Whales Were Found Dead
In 2007, right whales have encountered a high mortality rate, as well as reduced reproductive numbers in the last few years. Therefore, the right whales seem to be migrating in various regions of the ocean, way more than usual. According to Nick Record, a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine, food supply or lack might be a probable reason for this. What is even worse is that this switch in searching for homes also left the whales weaker, as it meant that they are far from their protected areas.
Right whales had earned their name a long time ago when they were still deemed by commercial whalers as the ‘right’ whale to catch. These whales could be hunted close from the coast, but they were also a good supply of whale oil. The whale oil was, back then, an important product. The hunting, though, conducted to their numbers slowly decreasing. Aside from hunters, conservationists mention fishing equipment and ship hits as one of the top two menaces for this endangered animal.
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