This is a transcript of the video.
Most of us will never meet a North Atlantic right whale. Still, I like to imagine how it would feel to encounter this imperiled whale.
Fear? Peaceful awe?
Most North Atlantic right whales have scars on their bodies from getting entrapped in fishing lines off the east coast of the U.S. and Canada. It’s the number one cause of death for these animals. Scientists have found it’s so traumatizing for them that many don’t have babies for many years afterward.
There are no newborn right whales in the Atlantic Ocean this spring.
Do the whales know they might be the last of their kind, moving through a last generation?
Listen: The same species that created that long, treacherous line from buoy to trap has also developed acoustic release systems, which are being used quite effectively in some regions.
Let’s help the remaining right whales have a fighting chance at survival.
And let’s do it soon.
Scientists say the species could be functionally extinct in as little as 20 years—but there are some solutions within reach.
A new report estimates that around 700,000 tons of fishing gear are abandoned in the oceans each year. Now the good news: We can curb this.