IT’S STAGGERING TO THINK THERE are only 400 North Atlantic Right Whales left in the entire world. These massive animals make their way every year from New England to the Caribbean, passing the South Carolina coast in the process.
Once plentiful in the Atlantic, the Right Whale was hunted in the 18th and 19th centuries to the point of near extinction. The good news is that seven calves have been spotted along the migration trail this winter, according to researchers tracking the Right Whales.
The Right Whale is as long as a bowling lane and weighs as much as eight elephants combined. While being a giant has its benefits, dangers such as fishing line entanglements, vessel strikes, and ocean noise increasingly cause stress and injury.
Ship traffic in the Atlantic along the migration path poses great risks for the whales. New federal policies regarding drilling for oil and gas are also raising concerns for whale lovers.
Seismic airgun blasts are used to search for oil and gas deposits – and scientists say these deafening blasts can injure and kill marine life, including the Right Whale.
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