North America: Saving Endangered Right Whales At No Cost

This video about North Atlantic right whales.

From Cell Press:

Saving Endangered Whales At No Cost

Science Daily — By comparing the productivity of lobster fishing operations in American and Canadian waters of the Gulf of Maine, researchers have identified ways in which cost-saving alterations in fishing strategies can substantially reduce fishing-gear entanglements of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale [see also here].

The findings appear in the January 9th issue of the journal Current Biology, published by Cell Press, and are reported by Ransom Myers of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, along with colleagues there and at the University of Rhode Island, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the University of New Hampshire.

See also here.

North Atlantic right whale gets some protection at last: here.

First North Atlantic right whale sighting in Azores since 1888: here.

Blue whales in Chile: here.

7 thoughts on “North America: Saving Endangered Right Whales At No Cost

  1. By KOZO MIZOGUCHI Associated Press Writer
    TOKYO Jul 5, 2007 (AP)

    Researchers at a museum in central Japan have right whale fossils that are at least 5 million years old, making them the oldest fossilized remains of the animal in the world, officials said.

    Researchers working in Nagano prefecture (state) estimate the fossilized skull bones and jaw of a right whale on display at the Shinshushinmachi Fossil Museum to be 5 million to 6 million years old, museum curator Ken Narita said Wednesday.

    The oldest right whale fossil previously found was a skeleton that was uncovered in Italy that dates back about 4 million years, Narita said.

    “This was an amazing find, and to have found the oldest one of this type makes it truly remarkable,” he said.

    The skeleton was first discovered in 1938, when residents found the whale’s spine and rib bones exposed on the ground. However, the skeleton was left undisturbed because the country was then at war, according to the museum’s Web site.

    Researchers finally returned to the site in 1967, but the exposed parts of the skeleton had been scattered or lost. Only the skull and upper jaw parts were left to be excavated, but it was not until recently that the museum could afford to get the bones dated, Narita said.

    While of the right whale genus, the animal’s species is believed to have been different from those of other right whale fossils found so far, he added.

    Right whale skeletons have often been found in Europe, but the Nagano fossils and their dating “raises the possibility that right whales might have originated in the North Pacific,” said Toshiyuki Kimura, curator of the Gunma Museum of Natural History. Kimura also took part in the fossil research.

    Right whales are now designated an endangered species and banned for hunting by the International Whaling Commission. The entire North Atlantic right whale population is estimated at just 350, according to a U.S. federal researcher.

    Nagano is 180 kilometers (110 miles) northwest of Tokyo.

    On the Web:

    Museum Web site: museum/fossils/natural treasur e.html

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press


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