State Grant to Help Fund Anti-Entanglement Work for Whales

COURTESY CENTER FOR COASTAL STUDIES RIGHT WHALE TEAM 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.

COURTESY CENTER FOR COASTAL STUDIES RIGHT WHALE TEAM
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.

BOSTON – The state office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has announced it will fund $180,000 for the New England Aquarium to develop a modified rope which researchers hope will reduce whale entanglement.

An additional $19,000 will be granted to the South Shore Lobster Fisherman’s Association to test rope that uses sections of reduced breaking strength, as well as colors that could be more visible to whales.

Previous research from the aquarium shows a connection between the severity of whale entanglements and the breaking strength of ropes.

Additionally, the research shows that 83 percent of the endangered North Atlantic right whales show signs of entanglement.

Entanglement in fishing gear is the leading cause of human-induced large whale deaths.

Only 525 North Atlantic right whales are known to exist, many of which off the coast of Massachusetts.

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