Whale Death Possibly Caused By Fishing Gear
Several veterinarians and scientists are working to determine the cause of death for a North Atlantic right whale that washed ashore in Nova Scotia recently, reports CBC.
According to Tonya Wimmer of the Marine Animal Response Society, the whale’s body was so decayed that it was barely recognizable, indicating it had been deceased for a long period of time.
Due to the presence of long green ropes enclosed around the tail, many believe fishing gear was the factor of death. As of yesterday afternoon, efforts were being made to remove the whale carcass from the beach to begin testing.
“This animal actually has a very large amount of rope that is wrapped around its tail, which is obviously a concern,” she said.
“We don’t know yet what the cause of death was — we don’t know if that played a role.”
The North Atlantic right whale is an endangered species, in which only approximately 500 are believed to still exist.
“In order to protect these species, and in particular in order to help them recover, we absolutely have to understand what happened to them,” she said. “And then we have to figure out … how do we make sure those events don’t happen anymore?”
It’s estimated there are only about 450 North Atlantic right whales left in the world.