Fish and aquatic news » Environmental http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news The latest news from below the surface Wed, 23 Oct 2013 11:30:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6.1 Radioactive strontium-90 found in fish in Vermont, USA http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1466 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1466#comments Sat, 06 Aug 2011 02:37:26 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1466 Vermont health officials have found radioactive strontium-90 in a smallmouth bass taken from the Connecticut River. The fish was collected 9 miles upstream from the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, but William Irwin, the state’s chief radiological health officer, says it’s not certain where the strontium-90 comes from. It might come from the power plant, it might come from the […]

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Vermont health officials have found radioactive strontium-90 in a smallmouth bass taken from the Connecticut River.

The fish was collected 9 miles upstream from the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, but William Irwin, the state’s chief radiological health officer, says it’s not certain where the strontium-90 comes from. It might come from the power plant, it might come from the Chernobyl disaster and it might come from deposits left over from atomic bomb testing carried out in the 1950s and 1960s.

According to Irwin, the strontium-90 is most likely not from the Fukushima disaster since that release of radioactive material took place so recently.

What makes the finding even more intriguing is that the strontium-90 was found in the fleshy, edible part of the fish instead of in the bones.

Strontium

Strontium is an alkaline earth metal chemical element that is highly reactive chemically. Its symbol is Sr and its atomic number is 38. Strontium is. Strontium is soft and looks silvery-white or yellowish until it is exposed to air which makes it yellow. The 90Sr isotope is present in radioactive fallout and has a half-life of 28.90 years. Natural strontium is nonradioactive and nontoxic, but 90Sr is a radioactivity hazard.

Because strontium is so similar to calcium, it is incorporated in the bone of humans and other animals, including fish. This is true for all four stable isotopes, and analyzing which isotope that has been incorporated into a bone can help us determine the region from which the bone hails. It is an important investigative tool for forensic scientists.

Stable forms of strontium are believed to be safe for humans, and the levels found naturally might actually be beneficial since they strengthen our bones. The 90Sr isotope can on the other hand cause various disorders and disease, including bone cancer and leukemia.

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Will grey seals counteract cod recovery in the Baltic Sea? http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1457 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1457#comments Thu, 28 Jul 2011 16:06:21 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1457 Grey seals and cod used to be found in great abundance throughout the Baltic Sea, but today the seals are chiefly present in the northern parts of the sea while the cod is found in the south. Management programs are working on increasing the number of both species and this will likely cause predator and prey to once again inhabit […]

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Grey seals and cod used to be found in great abundance throughout the Baltic Sea, but today the seals are chiefly present in the northern parts of the sea while the cod is found in the south.

Management programs are working on increasing the number of both species and this will likely cause predator and prey to once again inhabit the same region.

Since the grey seal and cod populations could overlap in the future, we investigated whether the management plans to re-establish the populations of cod and grey seals are contradictory since there is a chance that the grey seals can harm the cod stocks as happened in the 1920-30s. Although, back then the grey seal population was much larger than it is now,” says Professor Brian MacKenzie from the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU* Aqua) in Denmark (www.aqua.dtu.dk/English.aspx). DTU is the Technical University of Denmark.

Together with Margit Eero (also from DTU Aqua) and Henn Ojaveer from the Estonian Marine Institute (http://www.sea.ee/en/), MacKenzie has conducted a study where they conclude that fisheries and climate change will affect the cod much more than the grey seals. The study has been published in the scientific journal PloS ONE.

About a decade ago, over fishing, oxygen scarcity and decreased salinity cause the cod populations in the Baltic Sea to plummet to record low levels. The amount of cod is now gradually increasing again, chiefly thanks to a strict fishing management plan and a few good years of cod reproduction.

The environmental conditions of the Baltic Sea are still not perfect, but fishing levels are low at the moment, giving the cod a chance to rebuild the population. This has given rise to an increase in cod numbers during the last four to five years,” MacKenzie explains.

Since grey seals have effected the cod populations in the past, the team of Danish-Estonian scientists wanted to take a closer look at how they may affect a slowly recuperating cod population.

Historically, seals have affected cod stocks, and in many areas they are suspected of being the reason why the recovery of cod stocks has been delayed. Therefore, it was important to determine whether the grey seals could pose a threat to the cod stock in the Baltic Sea,” says MacKenzie.

In order to investigate how grey seals in the Baltic Sea could effect the cod, the researchers made a number of simulations of future scenarios – scenarios that also factored in commercial fishing and climate change. If climate change makes the climate warmer, the salinity of the Baltic Sea would decrease and this would affect the reproductive capacity of the cod. The cod would still reproduce, but the mortality rate for eggs and larvae would be higher.

If the Baltic Sea experiences lower salinity due to climate change, the cod stocks will most likely suffer because the cod will have difficulty reproducing. Furthermore, there will be predation by grey seals. These two ecosystem issues can greatly affect the cod stock so this is why we wanted to find out how large these impacts might be in order to regulate fishing levels accordingly,” says MacKenzie. “Our results show, that fishing and environmental factors like oxygen depletion and decreasing salinity will affect the cod population more than the grey seals in the years to come.”

According to the study, it would be possible to simultaneously increase numbers of cod and grey seals in the Baltic Sea.

For more information, the paper can be found at PloS ONE (http://www.plosone.org)

Brian R. MacKenzie, Margit Eero, Henn Ojaveer. Could Seals Prevent Cod Recovery in the Baltic Sea? PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (5): e18998 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018998

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China Releases 1.3 Billion Fish into Yangtze River http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1452 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1452#comments Sun, 24 Jul 2011 16:03:16 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1452 Last week, 1.3 billion fish were released into the Yangtze River by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA). The release took place in the provinces of Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Anhui and Jiangsu in the middle and lower reaches of the river. The release is a part of a project that the authorities hope will help restore fishery resources after the […]

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Last week, 1.3 billion fish were released into the Yangtze River by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA). The release took place in the provinces of Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Anhui and Jiangsu in the middle and lower reaches of the river.

The release is a part of a project that the authorities hope will help restore fishery resources after the recent drought. 9,000 hectares of the river will be planted with aquatic weeds, and 21 million shellfish will also be released into the water. Examples of fish species that were included in the recent release are black carp, grass carp and bighead carp.

The drought has also affected Chinese lakes, and 100 million fish have been released in nine lakes in China’s Anhui Province. According to an estimated from Anhui Fishery Bureau, the drought caused a loss of 148 000 metric tons of fish in the province.

In the Hubei Province, the Honghu Lake – which is the largest lake in the province – decreased down to 12.6 percent (4,475 hectares) of its normal size during the drought according to sources within the Jingzhou Aquatic Products Bureau. 300 million fish have now been released into a total of 34 lakes.

The Yangtze River

The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and the third longest river in the world; only the Nile and the Amazon are longer. During recent years, the Yangtze River has suffered from severe industrial pollution coupled with siltation and agricultural run-off. Loss of wetland and lakes has amplified the problems and exacerbated seasonal flooding. Some parts of the river are now protected as nature reserves.

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Will a third force field be enough to protect the Great Lakes? http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1444 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1444#comments Wed, 20 Apr 2011 02:48:48 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1444 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have constructed an electric barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a waterway linking the Mississippi River with the Great Lakes watershed. The idea is to prevent Asian carps from entering the Great Lakes where it could wreck havoc with the ecosystem.

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have constructed an electric barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a waterway linking the Mississippi River with the Great Lakes watershed. The idea is to prevent Asian carps from entering the Great Lakes where it could wreck havoc with the ecosystem.

Seven species of carps native to Asia have been introduced to the United States, and four of them are considered a threat to the Great Lakes: bighead carp, silver carp, black carp and grass carp.

The new electric barrier is located slightly upstream from two similar barriers in the canal, and consists of underwater electrodes that creates a forced field by emitting rapid pulses. The force field is meant to repel fish and is capable of shocking those that refuse to turn around.

“We now have great flexibility and redundancy”, says Col. Vincent Quarles, commander of the Army Corps’ Chicago district. “We want to deter the Asian carp threat. The barrier is a very good tool.”

Since the early 1970s, Bighead carp and Silver carp have migrated northward on the Mississippi and its tributaries. Environmental groups have called for physically severing the man-made Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, which was completed in the year 1900 to connect the Great Lakes with the Mississippi drainage basins.

Michigan and four other Great Lakes states also wish to sever the canal, and there is currently a federal lawsuit pending against the Army Corps. The Army Corps have pledged to consider that option in a comprehensive study, but that study is not scheduled for completion until 2015.

The first electrical underwater fence in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal was activated in 2002, while the second one was turned on seven years later. Federal and state officials say that the barriers have performed well, but skeptics keep questioning the effectiveness of the barriers. Scientists with the University of Notre Dame and The Nature Conservancy have reported findings of DNA from both Bighead carp and Silver carp in numerous locations above the barriers. However, no Asian carps have been found, save for one single specimen.

“There are still serious gaps in our knowledge about how well it’s working,” says Thom Cmar, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “No one ever imagined these electric barriers would be a permanent solution. They’ve always been just a stopgap idea.”

In a newly released report, the Army Corps acknowledges that the 2 volts per inch used in the barriers may not be enough to deter small fish that are just a few inches in length. Increasing the voltage might however endanger the ships moving flammable items across the canal.

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First census finds fewer White Sharks than expected in northeast Pacific Ocean http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1442 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1442#comments Mon, 21 Mar 2011 16:49:45 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1442 A team of researchers headed by Taylor Chapple, a UC Davis doctoral student, has made the first rigorous scientific estimate of White shark (Carcharodon carcharias) numbers in the northeast Pacific Ocean.

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White shark TERRYGROSS First census finds fewer White Sharks than expected in northeast Pacific Ocean

White Shark - Terry Gross

A team of researchers headed by Taylor Chapple, a UC Davis doctoral student, has made the first rigorous scientific estimate of White shark (Carcharodon carcharias) numbers in the northeast Pacific Ocean.

The researchers used small boats to reach spots in the Pacific Ocean where white whales congregate and lured them into photo range with a fake seal attached to a fishing line. Out of all the photographs taken, 321 photos showed dorsal fin edges. The dorsal fin edges of white sharks are jagged and each individual displays its own unique pattern. The photographs could therefore be used to identify individual sharks – 131 in total.

The research team then entered this information into statistical models to estimate the number of sharks in the region. According to their estimate, there are 219 adult* and sub-adult** white sharks in this area.

This low number was a real surprise,” says Chapple. “It’s lower than we expected, and also substantially smaller than populations of other large marine predators, such as killer whales and polar bears. However, this estimate only represents a single point in time; further research will tell us if this number represents a healthy, viable population, or one critically in danger of collapse, or something in-between.”

The white shark population in the northeast Pacific Ocean is one of three known white shark populations in the world; the other two are found off the coast of South Africa and off Australia/New Zealand, respectively.

Earlier studies using satellite tagging have shown that the white sharks of the northeast Pacific Ocean have an annual migration pattern. Each year, they move from the region off the coast of central California and Mexico’s Guadalupe Island to the Hawaiian Islands or to an area of open ocean located between the Baja Peninsula and Hawaii. The latter destination has even been dubbed “White Shark Café” due to its popularity among white sharks. After spending some time away from the mainland, the sharks journey back to coastal waters.

We’ve found that these white sharks return to the same regions of the coast year after year,” says Barbara Block, marine biologist at Stanford University and one of the co-authors of the pioneering white shark census. It is this fact that makes it possible to estimate their numbers. Our goal is to keep track of our ocean predators.”

The paper “A first estimate of white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, abundance off Central California” (http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2011.0124) has been published in the journal Biology Letters (http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org).

* Adult white sharks are the ones that have reached sexual maturity, something which happens when the male is roughly 13 feet and the female is about 15 feet in length.

**Sub-adults are roughly 8 feet or longer (but has not reached sexual maturity); at this size their dietary focus shifts from mostly fish to mostly marine mammals.

Study co-authors


Funding

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Fisheries through the Partnership for Education in Marine Resource and Ecosystem Management (PEMREM) and the NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant Fellowship Program
  • The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • The National Parks Service’s Pacific Coast Science and Learning Center
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory
  • Patricia King, member of the Point Reyes National Seashore Association



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Are you an “off the beaten path” kind of traveler? http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1435 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1435#comments Tue, 01 Mar 2011 21:09:20 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1435 For those who wish to boldly go where just a handful of researchers has gone before, the Algalita Marine Research Foundation is now offering tickets to visit the Great Pacific Garbage Gyre.

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North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone 300x217 Are you an “off the beaten path” kind of traveler?

Trash gyre location and currents

For those who wish to boldly go where just a handful of researchers has gone before, the Algalita Marine Research Foundation is now offering tickets to visit the Great Pacific Garbage Gyre.

In collaboration with Pangaea Explorations, a team of Algalita researchers will embark on a three week long scientific voyage through the Pacific Trash Vortex, a gyre of marine litter located roughly between 135° to 155°W to 42°N.

“We’ll be looking for changes in the accumulation of plastic in the North Pacific Gyre,” says Marcus Eriksen, who will lead the expedition’s research as Algalita’s Director of Project Development. “We suspect there’s greater accumulation, which means more harm to sea life and potentially to humans.”

The cost of each ticket is $10 000, and the net proceeds will be used to fund Algalita’s scientific research and educational outreach.

And even though you’re coughing up $10 000 for your fare, don’t expect a leisure cruise. The Sea Dragon, Pangaea’s 72-foot racing sloop, only have enough room for 14 people, including 4 professional crew members, and guests will be expected to help sail and maintain the vessel, stand watch during the night and cook up some hearty meals in the galley. To be considered for a spot on the Sea Dragon you must be fit enough to pull lines, raise sails and lift 1/3 of your weight. You must also be willing to get some very hands-on experience from garbage sorting.

“On this voyage, you’ll earn your sea legs and rough hands hauling in lines and hoisting sails, but you’ll also be “doing the science” side-by-side with researchers,” says Eriksen. “You’ll need to be fit as you prepare to trawl the sea, sort plastic, preserve samples and catalog it all.”

The ship leaves Hawaii on July 7 2011 and is expected to land in Vancouver on July 27.
To find out more and purchase your ticket, go to http://www.algalita.org/research/NorthPacificGyreVoyage.html

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International consortium formed to study fertilizing oceans with iron http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1427 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1427#comments Wed, 23 Feb 2011 05:59:05 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1427 An international consortium has been formed to study the potential effects of adding iron to the ocean to promote the growth of phytoplankton.

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An international consortium has been formed to study the potential effects of adding iron to the ocean to promote the growth of phytoplankton. Phytoplankton use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and ocean fertilization might therefore be a way of mitigating the effects of global warming. When phytoplankton die, organic carbon sinks to the seafloor where it may remain for decades, centuries or even longer – we still do not now much about the time-line.

Iron fertilization of the ocean is far from uncontroversial, since it is very difficult to foresee the long term effects of such a project. The international consortium, which has been named In-Situ Iron Studies (ISIS) consortium , will carry out iron fertilization experiments in the open ocean in an effort in to answer some of the questions regarding how iron affects the ocean’s capacity for dragging carbon dioxide from the air and into the water. All experiments will adhere to the London Convention/London Protocol regarding ocean iron fertilization research.

“A great deal remains to be learned about ocean iron fertilization and how effective it could be in storing carbon dioxide in the oceans, and the formation of this consortium is an important first step,” says Lewis Rothstein, professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. “This is not a call for climate engineering; on the contrary this is a research consortium. It is premature to advocate for large-scale ocean iron fertilization, but it is time to conduct a focused research experiment that will examine the concept as comprehensively as we can. We want to make sure that it doesn’t generate harmful side effects that might negatively affect the marine ecosystem.”

The twelve ISIS-members are the following:
University of Rhode Island, USA
University of Hawaii, USA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
University of Maine, USA
University of Massachusetts Boston, USA
University of Plymouth, UK
Xiamen University, Fujian, China
The Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Australia
Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, The Netherlands
The National Oceanography Centre, UK
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, California, USA
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts, USA

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African Wolf – New wolf Species discovered http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1400 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1400#comments Sat, 12 Feb 2011 18:48:42 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1400 This is not really fish related but cool enough to warrant a post here anyway. Scientists have discovered a new species of Wolf in Egypt.

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African wolf African Wolf   New wolf Species discovered

African Wolf aka Egyptian Jackal

This is not really fish related but cool enough to warrant a post here anyway. Scientists have discovered a new species of Wolf in Egypt. A team a researchers from Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), the University of Oslo, and Addis Ababa University, with funding from the University of Oslo, shows that Gray wolves reached Africa around 3 million years ago before spreading throughout the northern hemisphere. The new wolf is a relative of the Holarctic grey wolf, the Indian wolf and the Himalayan wolf.

The Egyptian jackal (Canis aureus lupaster) is an importan part of the Egyptian mythology and has until now been considered a subspecies of the Golden jackal (Canis aureus) but this new research show that the egyptian jackal is infact a species of wolf. This new species is not closely related to the rare Ethiopian wolves. Ethiopian wolves are a relatively recent of spring from the gray wolf complex while this new species, ”African wolf” (suggested name by Professor Sillero), likely arrived in Africa much earlier.

Professor David Macdonald says: “A wolf in Africa is not only important conservation news, but raises fascinating biological questions about how the new African wolf evolved and lived alongside not only the real golden jackals but also the vanishingly rare Ethiopian wolf, which is a very different species with which the new discovery should not be confused.”

Sa393 300x246 African Wolf   New wolf Species discovered

The jackal is important in Egyptian Mythology

The team also found genetically very similar specimens to this new wolf in the highlands of Ethiopia, 2,500 km from Egypt, suggesting that the new species might have a large distrobution and that it is not just found in Egypt.

The conservational status of this new species is not known.

Professor Sillero says: “It seems as if the Egyptian jackal is urgently set for a name-change, and its unique status as the only member of the grey wolf complex in Africa suggests that it should be re-named ‘the African wolf’.”

WildCRU is part of Oxford University’s Department of Zoology.

If you want to read the entire paper (direct link) you can do so at PlosOne:

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Scientists find huge smelly blob in Florida waters http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1398 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1398#comments Tue, 08 Feb 2011 05:01:20 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1398 Scientists researching the Gulf of Mexico have found an underwater mass of dead biological material that appears to be growing as microscopic algae and bacteria get trapped and die.

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Scientists researching the Gulf of Mexico have found an underwater mass of dead biological material that appears to be growing as microscopic algae and bacteria get trapped and die. The blob is at least three feet (90 cm) thick and spans two-thirds of a mile (1 mile = 1 609 meters) parallel to the coast just off the Florida Panhandle, within the site of Perdido Key. The blob smells like rotten eggs and feels similar to jelly.

The researchers have been unable to determine how the blob was formed, where it comes from or where it will go. Tests show that the material is nearly 100% biological and less than a year old. It is also clear that tiny organisms have gotten stuck in the sticky blob and died. Tests carried out by the researchers also showed that the blob has no connection to land.

It seems to be a combination of algae and bacteria,” says David Hollander, a chemical oceanographer with the University of South Florida. According to Hollander, the substance is toxic and “extraordinarily sticky”.

Scientists are not ruling out a connection to last years’ Deepwater Horizon disaster, but so far none of the tests have shown any sign of oil.

Researchers encountered the blob for the first time in December as they were searching for oily sediments on the sea floor. They did find such sediments, but they also got a tip about something weird floating around roughly half a mile from Perdido Pass and this caused them to change their plans and head over to the area to investigate.

The environment where the blob can be found is a relatively pristine sloping shelf. Normally, wave action will sweep away any sediments here.

Hollander and his team are planning to return to the blob within a few weeks to gather more samples, since they were unable to get any material from the bottom of the blob during their last visit. They will also try to map out the entire blob to be able to see exactly how big it is.



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Scientists use sedation to free young entangled Right Whale http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1396 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1396#comments Sat, 05 Feb 2011 05:46:26 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1396 Scientists from NOAA and its state and nonprofit partners have applied at-sea chemical sedation to successfully free a young North Atlantic Right Whale off the coast of Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA.

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right whale Scientists use sedation to free young entangled Right Whale

Right Whales

Scientists from NOAA and its state and nonprofit partners have applied at-sea chemical sedation to successfully free a young North Atlantic Right Whale off the coast of Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA.

This is only the second time a free-swimming whale has been successfully sedated to enable disentanglement. The first case also concerned a whale spotted off the coast of Florida and occurred in March 2009.

In the most recent case, a female Right Whale born during the 2008-2009 calving season had roughly 200 feet (60 meters) of rope wrapped through her mouth and around the flippers when an aerial survey team spotted her on December 25. Five days later a disentanglement team from Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was able to remove about 150 feet (45 meters) of rope from her. Unfortunately, they couldn’t safely get the rest of the rope off her and this is why NOAA decided to sedate her, after having tracked her via satellite tag for half a month to see if the remaining rope would come off on its own.

“Our recent progress with chemical sedation is important because it’s less stressful for the animal, and minimizes the amount of time spent working on these animals while maximizing the effectiveness of disentanglement operations,” says Jamison Smith, Atlantic Large Whale Disentanglement Coordinator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “This disentanglement was especially complex, but proved successful due to the detailed planning and collective expertise of the many response partners involved.”

On January 15, researchers deemed that the Right Whale wouldn’t be able to free herself from the remaining 50 feet (15 meters) of rope without assistance. The weather was favorable for a rescue mission and a disentanglement team comprised of scientists from NOAA, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, University of Florida, EcoHealth Alliance , and Coastwise Consulting (was dispatched into the Atlantic. Back on shore, the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies and the New England Aquarium got ready to provide off-site assistance.

The entangled Right Whale was fitted with a temporary satellite tag that would record her behavior before, during and after sedation. She was then sedated and had ropes as well as mesh material removed from her. The mesh resembled mesh used to catch fish, crabs and lobsters along the Atlantic coast and NOAA’s Fisheries Service is currently examining it in an effort to determine its geographic origin.

Once the whale had been freed from the garbage, the researchers administered a drug that reversed the sedation. The whale also received some antibiotics to threat the wounds caused by the debris. She will now be tracked for up to 30-days through the temporary satellite tag.

If you see an entangled or otherwise injured whale you are encouraged to report it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (1-888-404-FWCC or 1-888-404-3922) or the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (1-800-2-SAVE-ME or 1-800-272-8366).

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