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Endangered North Atlantic right whale carcass links Maine’s lobster fishery to survival threat

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Earth.Org or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A juvenile North Atlantic right whale's carcass, entangled in Maine's lobster fishery gear, was found ashore in Martha’s Vineyard, evidencing the gear's involvement in whale entanglements
• This discovery aligns with concerns over the primary threats to this endangered species, including entanglement in fishing gear and boat strikes

🔭 The context: The Maine lobster fishing industry has historically contested claims linking its gear to right whale entanglements
• Despite denial, a significant percentage of right whales show scars from such incidents, and recent legislation requiring gear identification has directly implicated Maine lobster gear in whale fatalities

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The entanglement of North Atlantic right whales in fishing gear underscores the critical balance between economic activities and marine conservation
• With the right whale population in decline, particularly among breeding females, the survival of the species is at risk, highlighting the urgent need for sustainable fishing practices

⏭️ What's next: The ongoing conflict between the lobster fishing industry and environmental regulations poses a significant challenge for the conservation of North Atlantic right whales
• Efforts to mitigate entanglements through gear modification and stricter regulations are critical for the species' survival

💬 One quote: "Half her life was spent in pretty chronic pain," remarked Regina Asmutis-Silver, regarding the ordeal of a young entangled whale, highlighting the severe impact of entanglements on individual whales

📈 One stat: Less than 70 of the estimated 360 living North Atlantic right whales are breeding females, emphasizing the dire situation for the species' future.

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