Post Content

Bill Hinkley

Bill Hinkley

Program Director, Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET)

View Bill's Bio

While most people gazing at the ocean near Chatham have been looking for white sharks, two endangered humpback whales are fortunate that people on the water nearby were looking at them instead.

Two different humpback whales became entangled in heavy lines on July 5 and 6 near the Chatham coast.  Entanglement in fishing gear is a major cause of mortality for whales as lines interfere with feeding and breathing. Long-term entanglements can cause infections.

The highly trained Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team from the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies responded to these entanglements and freed the whales. While only trained professionals can disentangle a whale, boaters are the first line of defense for an entangled whale. Reports to the Marine Animal Entanglement Response hotline assured that these severe entanglements did not result in the deaths of the whales.

Mariners should report any entanglement sightings of whales, sea-turtles and other marine animals to the Marine Animal Entanglement Response Hotline (1-800-900-3622) or the U.S. Coast Guard and stand by the animal at a safe distance until trained responders arrive.

The Massachusetts Environmental Trust provides financial support to the Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team. This support is possible because 40,000 Massachusetts drivers have chosen to purchase the right whale license plate from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The trust directs proceeds from the plate to programs that protect and restore our aquatic resources.

To learn more:

Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies      

Division of Marine Fisheries right whale program

And to order a whale tail license plate:

Go to the Registry of Motor Vehicles website. Select “plates” then “Order a Special Plate”. After the instruction pages, click through the slide show of plates until you reach the Right Whale. Plates are $40 every two years in addition to regular registration fees.

Written By:

Recent Posts

2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: October posted on Oct 29

2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: October

October’s Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Steve Golson who photographed his Hereford beef cattle at Sorli Farm in Carlisle. Sorli Farm has been operated by three generations of the Sorli family since 1745. The family purchased the land in 1914, so it’s fitting that   …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: October

Wood: The Future (and Past) of Green Infrastructure posted on Sep 30

Wood: The Future (and Past) of Green Infrastructure

Wood, one of the oldest building materials in human history, might also be the greenest.

The View from Massachusetts posted on Sep 17

The View from Massachusetts

While Massachusetts can claim significant success in urban river revitalization, dam removal, cranberry bog naturalization and stream flow restoration, globally there are daunting challenges to restore highly impacted or vanishing ecosystems that will test the acumen of ecologists, engineers and politicians for years to come.