A minke whale entangled in fishing gear 40 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard was freed Sunday by the Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response. Responders said they expected the 15-foot whale to recover.
Aerial surveys conducted last week spotted a large group of North Atlantic right whales in the ocean south of the Vineyard. Mariners are asked to use caution while the critically endangered whales are present.
Federal officials warn mariners that North Atlantic right whales have been spotted in the ocean south of the Vineyard, and a voluntary vessel restriction zone has been temporarily put in place to protect the endangered mammals.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association said 10 right whales were spotted south of the two Islands on Feb. 24.
Following the sighting of critically endangered right whales last week, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has announced a voluntary speed reduction zone for vessels in a large area surrounding the Vineyard and Nantucket.
Notifying speeding sailors that regulations are in place to protect North Atlantic right whales has been effective in protecting the endangered whales from ship collisions, a new study by NOAA has found.
A dead juvenile finback whale was found floating in the ocean between the Vineyard and Noman’s Land last Friday.
David Damroth, a Chilmark resident, said he spotted the whale from a hill above Squibnocket Beach. He later took his boat out on the water and got a closer look at the animal, which was largely intact, he said. The only marks he saw were from scavenging seagulls.
Normally, the Coast Guard is on the lookout for mariners in distress. But on Sunday crew members aboard a 270-foot cutter stationed in Portsmouth, Va. spotted a more welcome sight: two right whales swimming northwest of Menemsha in Vineyard Sound.
About 20 North Atlantic right whales were spotted south and southeast of the Vineyard on Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed. This is the second report of right whales seen near the Vineyard in a month.
On Feb. 15 six right whales were seen from the air halfway between the Vineyard and Nantucket. On the same day two more whales were seen swimming south of Nantucket.