Friday 18 September 2020

Whale entangled in fishing gear found off the coast of Atlanta.

The US Coast Guard have recovered the body of a Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, found entangled in fishing gear off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Wednesday 16 September 2020. The 10 m Mammal was found dead resting against a moored dredging platform about six and a half km off the shore on Wednesday 15 September. This is the latest in a series of Whale entanglements on the east coast of North America, with the most recent being an Animal off the coast of New York in August, which was successfully released by divers.

A dead Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, off the coast of New Jersey on 16 September 2020. SkyForce10/NBC10.

Humpback Whales were nearly exterminated by commercial Whaling in the first part of the twentieth century. The species has been protected since 1946, and in recent years their population has appeared to be recovering in many areas, now being seen as being of Least Concern  under the terms of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. These Whales are becoming increasingly common in waters around the world, but are also increasingly often becoming entangled in fishing tackle, which is not generally designed with Whales in mind.

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