A major new study has just discovered something very concerning about whales, and how we interact with them.
A worrying new conclusion by scientists regarding whales off the New England coasts suggests that the animals may be in jeopardy if things continue as they are. A group of marine scientists have found that collisions of whales and boats off the coast of New England are much more common than we realize, with about 15 percent of whales observed with injuries are scarring consistent with a vessel strike.
Scientists focused on humpback whales in the southern Gulf of Maine, which is located off of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. The whales visit the area every spring. The researchers’ findings were published in the journal Marine Mammal Science.
“Vessel strikes are a significant risk to both whales and to boaters,” said Alex Hill in an Associated Press Story. Hill is the lead author of the study, who is a scientist with conservation group Whale and Dolphin Conservation, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. “Long term studies can help us figure out if our outreach programs to boaters are effective, what kind of management actions are needed and help to assess the health of the population.”