NATIONAL NEWS

Rare whale found dead off Massachusetts may have been entangled, authorities say

Jan 30, 2024, 10:12 AM

A rare whale found dead off Massachusetts shows potential evidence of injury from entanglement in fishing gear, which is one of the most pressing threats to the vanishing species, federal authorities said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it was notified about the dead female North Atlantic right whale on Sunday off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The right whale numbers less than 360 in the world and it is vulnerable to entanglement in gear and collisions with large ships.

NOAA officials said members of the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head were able to secure the whale, and a necropsy will be performed when possible. However, early observations show the presence of rope entangled near the whale’s tale, the agency said.

“Due to the animal’s position, the whale cannot be identified at this time, but it is estimated to be a juvenile due to its size,” NOAA said in a statement, adding that the whales are “approaching extinction” and have suffered unusually high mortality in recent years.

The population of the whales fell by about 25% from 2010 to 2020, and saving them is a focus of conservation groups. Environmental organizations have called for tighter laws on vessel speed and commercial fishing to try to spare more of the whales from threats.

Some industries have pushed back against tighter laws. Last year, a federal appeals court sided with commercial fishermen who harvest lobsters and crabs and say proposed restrictions aimed at saving the whales could put them out of business.

Right whales were once abundant off the East Coast, but they were decimated during the commercial fishing era and have been slow to recover. They have been protected under the Endangered Species Act for decades.

The loss of a young female is especially devastating to the population, said Gib Brogan, campaign director at Oceana.

“This latest example should serve as a wakeup call that the status quo is not working,” Brogan said. “The survival of North Atlantic right whales requires strong leadership in the U.S. and Canadian governments to ensure fishing and boat traffic stop killing the remaining whales.”

National News

FILE - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, left, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator ...

Associated Press

Can a Medicaid plan that requires work succeed? First year of Georgia experiment is not promising

ATLANTA (AP) — By now, Georgia officials expected their new Medicaid plan, the only one in the nation with a work requirement, to provide health insurance to 25,000 low-income residents and possibly tens of thousands more. But a year since its launch, Pathways to Coverage has roughly 4,300 members, much lower than what state officials […]

20 minutes ago

A person uses a cell phone on Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Los Angeles. The FBI Internet Crime Compl...

Associated Press

What’s worse than thieves hacking into your bank account? When they steal your phone number, too

WASHINGTON (AP) — One Monday morning in May, I woke up and grabbed my cell phone to read the news and scroll through memes. But it was out of cell service. I couldn’t make calls or texts. That, though, turned out to be the least of my problems. Using my home Wi-Fi connection, I checked […]

48 minutes ago

Associated Press

Donald Trump appeared to be the target of an assassination attempt. Here’s what to know

WASHINGTON (AP) — What began as a jubilant rally Saturday for Donald Trump days before he becomes the official Republican presidential nominee ended in mere minutes with the former president bloodied and a suspected would-be assassin shot dead by the Secret Service. There was also one spectator killed and two others who were critically injured […]

1 hour ago

FILE - President John F. Kennedy waves from his car in a motorcade approximately one minute before ...

Associated Press

Four US presidents were assassinated; others were targeted, as were presidential candidates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Before Saturday’s apparent attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump, there have been multiple instances of political violence targeting U.S. presidents, former presidents and major party presidential candidates. A look at some of the assassinations and attempted assassinations that have occurred since the nation’s founding in 1776: ABRAHAM LINCOLN, the 16th president […]

2 hours ago

U.S. Secret Service agents converge to cover Republican presidential candidate former President Don...

Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: Shooting at Trump rally in Pennsylvania

This collection of photos shows the aftermath of a shooting at former President Donald Trump’s rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, on Saturday. The former president, his ear covered in blood from what he said was a gunshot, was quickly pulled away by Secret Service agents and his campaign said he was “fine.” A local prosecutor said […]

3 hours ago

People sit in a local bar near the Fiserv Forum watching news ahead of the 2024 Republican National...

Associated Press

At a Trump rally, shocking images fill TV screens. Then reporters rush to find out what it means

The images filled television screens across a rattled country on a hot Saturday evening — former President Donald Trump reaching for his bloodied ear as he moved down to the floor of a stage at a Pennsylvania campaign rally and U.S. Secret Service agents rushing to surround him. While the video was instantly available and […]

3 hours ago

Rare whale found dead off Massachusetts may have been entangled, authorities say