Subject: Info: Right Whales and Calving

Michael Williamson (pita)
Mon, 25 Jan 1996 10:23:23

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Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 10:17:14 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Williamson <pita@whale.simmons.edu>
Subject: Info:  Right Whales and Calving
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Question?-What is wrong with this story?
(hint: geography)
 
 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 96 12:32:00 UTC 0000
From: r.mallon1@genie.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: UPI Science Feature
 
UPI Science Feature
 
   FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. (UPI) -- Northern right whales have some human
allies this winter as they struggle to populate and continue their
existence.
   Researchers from the New England Aquarium Right Whale Research
Project have set up shop in northern Florida and are working with
shipping companies to help save the endangered mammals by keeping
vessels informed about the whales' location.
   The coastal area from Brunswick, Ga., to just south of St. Augustine,
Fla., is the birthing area for the whales from late November to late
March.
   Only about 350 northern right whales are believed to remain in
existence, down from a high of 10,000.
   Based in a townhouse in Fernandina Beach, the researchers keep track
of the whales through aerial sightings, then convey the information to
shippers operating in the three major shipping lanes serving ports in
the area.
   "We believe anything we can do to protect the whales is important,"
Nassau Terminals Vice President Val Schwec said. "We're involved in
helping and promoting to make sure that the captains of the vessels get
the proper information (about the whales)."
   According to a 1994 New england Aquarium study, most whales killed by
unnatural causes either are hit by ships or become entangled in fishing
nets. The whales don't fear large ships and move too slowly to get out
of the way, the researcher said.
   NEARWRP southeastern research director Christopher Slay said the
group of scientists has spotted 37 whales so far this year. Exact
locations are not being revealed to protect the whales from being
disturbed by curious members of the public.
   Scientists hope to tag a mother whale with a satellite sensor so they
can more closely monitor her movements, Slay said.
   "Our idea with tagging whales down here is to better understand the
way the mothering whales move around in the area, so we will better
understand the risks they face," he explained.