VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA: A 14-meter North Atlantic right whale was found dead on the shores of Virginia Beach with serious injuries on the east coast a few weeks ago. A new study suggests that overspeeding boats are to blame as the whale likely died from a collision with a boat. It was revealed on Thursday March 9, thanks to data compiled by the non-profit organization “Oceana”, that at least 7 out of 10 boats circulating in the region had exceeded the speed limit. The data was gathered by observing boats to catch those that exceeded the 10 knot limit. They glowed bright red on a series of digital maps, which helped track the identity of each of the boats, as well as the speeds at which they were traveling and their GPS location as well.
In the shocking sighting, it was found that, despite the speed limit being set at 10 knots, one of the boats was traveling at a staggering 23.2 knots! A member of the non-profit organization said the research could help us understand how the whale injured itself and died. “We can piece together what happened to this whale and tell the story of its tragic end,” Oceana’s Gib Brogan said. “With technology, we know where the whales are and where the boats are, and the combination of the two often ends up being deadly.”
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Right whales are an endangered species
Yahoo! News reports that currently only 340 North Atlantic right whales survive, 80 of which are breeding females. The species are endangered and their existence is threatened by the possibility of being hit by high speed boats, climate change and fishing entanglements. Brogan had also explained what could be done to help save the species – simply slow down and drive the boats within speed limits.
“Like when you drive a car past a school, there is a slow zone…and the same thing happens with whales. If we slow boats to less than 10 knots, the probability of a right whale being killed by a boat drops by more than 80%.
“The damage can be catastrophic”
As the US government considers a bill to help prevent the species from becoming extinct, Brogan believes that faster action must be taken to keep the whales safe. “The damage can be catastrophic, resulting in the death of the whale very soon after a strike.”
In other cases, the whale is injured, either by the hull of the boat or by the propeller and it can live for months or years,” he said. “There was a whale that had the nickname Wolverine, because it had what looked like scratches on its back after being hit by a propeller,” Brogan said of another whale that was injured. by a ship.