After the scientists recorded 17 North Atlantic right whale deaths and observed the animals are experiencing a gloomy breading season, they are now ready to take measures to protect this marine species, significantly endangered by ocean warming.
The main problem for the North Atlantic right whale species is the fish they feed on, as these are moving to the north to avoid global warming effects of southern waters. Accordingly, to find food, the right whales have to follow their pray and move to the north, at their turn.
However, unluckily for them, the northern waters are saturated by fisheries which endanger the North Atlantic right whales survival. Accordingly, a study published this week in the Oceanography journal proves that right whales and fisheries can sustainably exist together only if the fisheries routes are altered to allow freedom of movement for the whales.
Ocean warming and human activity endanger the North Atlantic right whale
“It’s not so much that the whales weren’t finding the food and then they were starving to death. It’s that when they had to go looking for food, they faced a greater risk of human-caused mortality,” explained Erin Meyer-Gutrob, the study’s leading author.
In 2017, the scientists registered an “unusual mortality event,” as they’ve described it, with 12 North Atlantic right whale carcasses stranded off the coast of Canada. Another five were discovered on the shores of the United States. The researchers concluded that the whales died because of entanglement and blunt force traumatisms.
If we don’t take significant and immediate action, the whales we know today may be the last of their kind,” said Francine Kershaw from the NRDC’s Marine Mammal Protection Project and Oceans Program, cited by the Earther.
The only way to help the North Atlantic right whale species is to monitor them carefully, the scientists say. According to Meyer-Gutbrod, “the best way we can do that is by getting more eyes and ears on the water.”
At this moment, the scientists believe that there are only around 500 North Atlantic right whale specimens remained in the oceans, this species being affected by both ocean warming and human activity.
Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys. Erin is also an active beekeeper.