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Fishing Line Entanglements Are Lethal for the Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale

Source: CBC News - January 18, 2016 in Environment

Fishing Line Entanglements Are Lethal for the Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale
Photo: NOAA NMFS Northeast Regional Office

The latest technology in fishing line is proving dangerous to the North Atlantic right whale, and could lead to its demise in the Gulf of Maine.

Amy Knowlton, a research scientist with the New England Aquarium in Boston, is working to reduce the risk of whale entanglement and death from fishing gear and lines.

‘We believe this is the biggest threat to these animals right now … and unless we can fix it they could go extinct,” says Knowlton.

She says the problem is the rope that’s used in modern fishing is made from polypropylene, a much stronger and more durable version of the hemp and sisal lines used in the past.

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