Wyldlife reports, July 15, 2013
Local Va Beach Fishermen, Captain “Pat Foster” and Mate “Adrian Colaprete”, of the “Wave Runner” charter fishing boat based out of Ruddee Inlet, rescue endangered Northern Right Whale.
They were off the coast of Virginia Beach yesterday about 50 miles helping a team of scientists conduct research studies offshore. Pat spotted a whale swimming irregularly in the distance and decided to have a closer look. The team identified the whale as an endangered species of the Northern Right Whale and noted the whale was in serious danger. The whale was tangled in some sort of fishing ropes or trap line and was slowly dragging the fishing gear behind it.
Pat and Adrian decided they would have to try and assess the situation a little further and find out if they could do something to help the whale. After patterning the whales movements the team decided Adrian would get in the water with the whale and take a closer look. When Adrian swam up to the whale he sensed the whale was welcoming his help and he made the decision to cut the rope tangling the whale to the line of fishing gear. After the rope was cut the tangled fishing gear sank to the bottom of the ocean and the whale swam away free.
It’s a happy ending to an amazing fish story!
Right Whales are the rarest of all large whales. There are several species of Right Whales and they are identified by enormous heads.
Right whales were named by whalers who identified them as the “right” whale to kill on a hunt. These whales had enormous value for their plentiful oil and baleen, which were used for corsets, buggy whips, and other contrivances. Because of their thick blubber, right whales also float accommodatingly after they have been killed. Populations of these whales were decimated during the whaling heydays of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. During this period they came close to extinction.
All species of Right Whales are endangered and have enjoyed complete international protection since 1949.
The most common causes of mortality for Right Whales is due to getting tangled in fishing gear and ship collisions.
Northern Right Whales are the most endangered of all large whales. They number only several hundred, and populations do not appear to have grown in the decades since their protection began.
Because females do not become sexually mature until ten years of age and give birth to a single calf after a yearlong pregnancy, populations grow slowly.
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