Pictures: Fishing Gear Identified on Martha’s Vineyard Dead Whale

Necropsy (animal autopsy) of North Atlantic right whale #5120. Credit: NOAA Fisheries. NOAA Fisheries Permit #24539

OAK BLUFFS – Maine fishing gear has been confirmed on the dead North Atlantic right whale that washed ashore on Martha’s Vineyard recently.

NOAA Fisheries concluded the rope is consistent with those used in Maine state water trap/pot buoy lines.

Full necropsy results from the right whale identified as catalogue number #5120 are still pending and the NOAA office of Law Enforcement investigation remains open.

Advocates of the critically endangered species including Oceana say that it’s another example of how vulnerable the whales are to fishing gear and other man-made challenges like vessel strikes.

According to sighting data from NOAA, the juvenile whale likely spent the majority of its life entangled.

All of the rope that was examined laid out in a parking lot. Credit: NOAA Fisheries

Another section of rope that was entangled around North Atlantic right whale #5120; this one has a full 1-foot purple zip tie. Credit: NOAA Fisheries

About Grady Culhane

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