News about the health and beauty of the natural world that sustains us.
It’s been a good month for right whales! The endangered species — numbering around 400 — have been taken care of in both political and scientific endeavors.
As of Dec. 9, a new law requires ships (of 65 feet or longer) to slow down to 11.5 miles per hour near East Coast ports that could have whales nearby. Nearly one-third of right whale deaths in the past 10 years were related to ships because the whales feed close to the sea surface. Evidence shows that if a right whale is hit by a ship moving 11.5 miles per hour or less, the chance of them dying drops to about 20 percent, compared to a greater than 80 percent chance if the ship is traveling 17 miles per hour.
Whale researchers also are attempting to find a way to avoid collisions between ships and right whales. To do this, they plan to listen to the whales’ baby talk off the coast of Georgia this calving season. According to an article in the Savannah Morning News
For more information on whales, read Utne’s Deep Blue Dissonance.