Second Right Whale Found Snared in Canadian Fishing Net
The Associated Press
H A L I F A X,
Nova Scotia, July 14 A second endangered North Atlantic right whale
tangled in fishing gear was spotted Thursday in the Bay of Fundy, and research
boats were trying to help free the two mammals.
Tobin, whale emergency network coordinator with East Coast ecosystems Research
Organizations, said the second whale became tangled in a fishing boats
The research ships had been trying to find
another right whale spotted Tuesday with ropes and buoys around it. Poor
weather had hampered the search, but both whales were being tracked on
Thursday, Tobin said.
Second Entanglement This Week
Were going after both of them trying to sort them out, she
said. To have these two whales in a day, Im pretty shocked. We were
up to our ears trying to deal with [the first] one.
The entanglements increased concern about the North
Atlantic right whale population, which has dropped to about 300.
Tobin said the fishermen whose nets got tangled with the
right whale on Thursday stayed with it and radioed the emergency network for
help. A spotter plane found the other whale, which was last seen on Tuesday.
According to Tobin, the longer a whale remains tangled in
lines and nets, the greater the chance of infection from cuts and other
If you can get to the whale just after
its been entangled, you have a much better chance of getting the gear
off, she said.
Researchers know of 31 entanglements since 1970, at least three of which were
fatal and 11 others are believed to have contributed to the death of the
Earlier this week, six fishermen from the Digby
area in Nova Scotia prepared to start the first Canadian tests of new,
whale-friendly nets. The fishermen said the nets developed with U.S. engineers
and marine researchers include weak links designed to allow whales to break
away if they drift into them.
If successful, the nets
would help the whales avoid injury and save the fishermen money by remaining
undamaged. The World Wildlife Fund put up 18,000 Canadian dollars to develop
the new netting.