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.