Endangered Right Whale Reported Dead Off Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard Creative Commons

MARTHA’S VINEYARD – The critically endangered North Atlantic right whale species has lost another individual after a death was reported just northeast of Martha’s Vineyard.

The body of the juvenile whale was reported entangled just off the coast of the island Monday morning.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was on the scene and is conducting a necropsy with NOAA.

Representatives with IFAW said the incident is an example of the threat fishing gear not properly disposed of poses for marine life. 

“The deceased whale was found entangled,” said Dr. Sarah Sharp, Animal Rescue Veterinarian, IFAW.

“While we don’t know the cause of death yet, we know that entanglements can lead to long term suffering and death. We also know that entanglements must be prevented to save this species from extinction.”

According to IFAW, coordinating in response are NOAA, the Wampanoag Tribe, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Massachusetts Environmental Police. They added that more help may be called in to assist.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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