New Report Shows Bleak Outlook for Right Whales

This aerial photo shows two right whales, including one named Sagamore, taken February 24 by Corey Accardo of the Center for Coastal Studies. They were in what is called a “surface active group” with another right whale, named “Nantucket,” who is not in this photo.

HYANNIS – A new report from the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium gives a bleak outlook for the endangered marine animal’s future.

According to the organization, 2020 saw the estimated population of North Atlantic right whales fall to 336. That represented an 8% drop from the year prior, and it is the lowest estimated population for the mammal in almost two decades.

The number of right whales has now declined by about 30% since its peak of 481 in 2011, which the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium primarily attributes to human impacts including boat strikes and fishing gear entanglements.

Research from the New England Aquarium shows that 86% of identified right whales have been entangled in fishing gear at least once in their lifetime.

The consortium has called for more bold and drastic measures to be taken in order to prevent the extinction of the whales.

These new figures come as the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium prepares for their meeting on October 26 and October 27. For more information, visit their website by clicking here.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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