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:
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.
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23
Girard’s Sugarhouse in Simsbury, CT. The sugarhouse was built in 1887 and produces around 250-300 gallons of syrup annually. Photo by Michael Girard March’s contest winner was Michael Girard who photographed his family’s sugarhouse in Health. Michael Girard has been a sugarmaker since 1961 when he …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February posted on Feb 25
February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton. This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. It is the mission …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January posted on Jan 26
January’s contest winner was Renee Finnegan, who photographed a pensive Highland cow at Oak Meadows Farm & Garden in Rutland. Glenn and Mary Kauppila have been farming 100 acres of land in Rutland for approximately 15 years. With the help of their three adult children, they …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January