Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

The calf, found died off the coast of Georgia, had been hit by a boat

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A mother and her calf photographed on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The child died Thursday after a collision with a boat.


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The black whale of the North Atlantic found dead Thursday off the coast of Georgia died following a collision with a ship, according to a necropsy conducted Friday.

Experts from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) say they found traces of blunt trauma, including skull fractures. The injuries correspond to a collision with a ship before death.

The calf was just over a year old. It was first seen in December 2022 off the coast of Florida.

Gib Brogan of Oceana, the ocean protection and conservation association, says he was seen with his mother just ten days ago. A tragic outcome for this whale, particularly because it is a female, he explains.

She does not only represent herself , but also all the young that she could have given birth to help the species regenerate, continued Gib Brogan.

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According to him, females are essential to the survival of this seriously endangered species. There are only 70 breeding females left out of a population of less than 360 individuals.

This is the second calf to die since the start of the year.

Late last month, a young female was found dead off the coast of Massachusetts near Martha’s Vineyard. A necropsy performed at the time revealed an entanglement with rope from Maine lobster fishing buried deep in the whale's tail.

Another calf was also seen with serious injuries from propellers off the southeastern United States in mid-January.

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A calf was seen in January with serious injuries consistent with being struck by a ship's propellers, according to the New England Aquarium.

According to Gib Brogan, collisions with boats and entanglements with fishing teams are the main causes of mortality of North Atlantic whales.

No whale in the North Atlantic dies of natural causes, he believes. The United States must do more to reduce the risk of entanglement, believes Gib Brogan.

According to him, Canada has taken measures effective in protecting the species, citing in particular speed limits in the Gulf of St. Lawrence when whales are in the area.

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Swerve was seen on January 3, 2024 with her calf.

For Dr. Jessica Redfern of the New England Aquarium, this second calf death in less than a month is terrible for this endangered species.

She calls on NOAA to impose speed reductions on ships, as was proposed more than 18 months ago.

There is an urgent need to finalize this rule and accelerate the widespread adoption of ropeless fishing gear to prevent the extinction of this species, she concluded. p>

Based on a report by Arlette Lazarenko, CBC

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