NOAA Says Entangled Right Whale “Likely To Die”

A juvenile North Atlantic right whale (Catalog #4909) was recently spotted off North Carolina with severe entanglements. Pictured above is right whale “Snow Cone” (Catalog #3560) spotted south of Nantucket on Sept. 21, 2022, dragging heavy fishing gear and in poor health.  CREDIT: New England Aquarium, taken under NOAA permit #25739

HYANNIS – The dwindling North Atlantic right whale population may suffer another loss. One of the whales was recently spotted with a severe entanglement that’s likely to be fatal. 

NOAA Fisheries officials reported an aerial survey team detected the 4-year-old female (#4909) whale 20 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

Biologists said the whale is seriously injured with lines wrapped around its mouth and tail. The animal is “likely to die” from the wounds. 

The news comes after the state recently declared April 24 Right Whale Day in Massachusetts. 

The critically-endangered whales migrate to Cape Cod Bay each year. Whale #4909 was spotted last May in Massachusetts Bay and its mother Spindle has mothered a number of calves

It’s estimated there are only around 70 reproductively active females left in the North Atlantic right whale population, which stands around 340. 

NOAA officials said that a response team wasn’t sent out at the time of #4909’s sighting because the whale was too far from the shore. 

They plan on providing updates if an entanglement response is possible should the whale be spotted again.  

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.
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