The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says a 4-year-old whale, one of the world’s rarest species, is ‘likely to die’ after becoming too tightly entangled

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that one of the few remaining individuals of the world’s rarest species of whale is “likely to die” now that it has become so tightly entangled.

The 4-year-old marine mammal is the North Atlantic right whale, a species that has only a few hundred organs left.

The whale, identified as #4904, was seen coiled in lines for the first time Jan. 8 by an aerial survey team from Florida’s Clearwater Marine Aquarium. NOAA said the team found the whale about 20 miles east of Rodanthe, North Carolina, with “several turns of string around the mouth and tail” and another string behind it.

2023-1-10-narw-infographic.png
Data on the decline of the North Atlantic right whale.

NOAA Fisheries


These lines left her with “numerous wounds on her body and whale lice on her head.”

“After reviewing the documentation for this new entanglement case, NOAA biologists have made a preliminary determination that it meets the criteria for ‘serious injury,'” the agency said Thursday. This means that the whale likely died from such injury.

At the time it was found, NOAA said it was “too late in the day” for the entanglement response team to pursue it and it was too far from shore. However, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium She said Sunday that NOAA Fisheries is working with trained respondents and experts to try to find them again.

“We will work together to document the entanglement further, and determine if a response is possible,” the basin said, adding that if someone encounters this or another entangled whale, they should contact experts for help and not intervene themselves.

The baby whale is the daughter of another tracked member of the right whale species, an adult female named Spindle, recently seen with her tenth calf off the coast of Georgia. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said this was the first time Spindle’s daughter had been seen since May of last year in Massachusetts Bay, and at this point she was not tangled.

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the rarest species of whale in the world. The endangered species is struggling to survive amid an ongoing unusual mortality event that has left fewer than 350 whales of the species remaining, injuring lowest population in nearly 20 years in 2021. NOAA said #4904 is the 94th right whale documented at the event since 2017 and the 22nd case of serious injury.

If you die, it only strains the species’ ability to continue. Female right whales cannot reproduce until about age 10, and researchers currently believe that there are fewer than 70 female right whales actively reproducing. Animals are pregnant for a year and can only give birth to one calf at a time, often only having calves every six to 10 years on average.

Since 2017, when the unusual mortality event began, only 57 whales have been born. However, this amount is far less than is needed, as the species must produce 50 or more calves per year for several years to halt the decline of the species. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium said only 15 calves were spotted in the 2021-2022 calving season and that so far 11 calves have been spotted this season.

NOAA data shows that humans are still the main cause of species decline, mainly due to entanglements and ship strikes. Since it came to light in 2017, 11 whales have died in raids on ships, while nine have died after being entangled. Twenty of them were seriously injured from the entanglement.

news of this young man whale It comes just weeks after the discovery that a humpback whale named Moon rose to national attention. I left the raid ship Pisces with a broken spine and unable to use its tail to propel it across the ocean. Nevertheless, she managed to capture the hearts of many who knew of her, as she swam 3,000 miles from Canada to Hawaii in one “final voyage.”

Leave a Comment