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"Over one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from

entanglement in or ingestion of plastics."4 7Fishing vessels are not the only source of dangerous

debris. Humans in general leave traces of debris everywhere. The most ubiquitous debris is

plastics. Many marine species mistake plastic for their food, ingest it, and die.4 8An autopsy on

one male sperm whale yielded the ingestion of a party balloon, ribbon still intact, blocking the

animal's digestive tract.49

Picture 3: Turtle caught in fishing gear5 0

IMAGE imgs/MsoDockBottom24.gif

This is a picture of a turtle caught in fishing gear.

Natural causes and Killer whale prey are two reasons why The Northern Right Whale

could die, but it is known by researchers that, "approximately half of all known deaths are

attributed to human impacts."5 1

By studying the impacts that the human race has on the

environment, we can then begin to look closer at what specific pollutants affect the existence of

endangered Northern Right Whales. Because we know that the habitat and path of migration

47 http://www.blueoceansociety.org/think.htm.
48 http://www.blueoceansociety.org/plastics.htm.
49 http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/peril_marine_debris.html. 50 http://coastalcleanup.org/images/entTurtle.jpg.
51 http://npr.org/programs/act/features/2001/nov/rightwhale/factsheet.html