PNS Daily Newscast - July 23, 2019 

A bipartisan deal reached to avert U.S. government default. Also on our Tuesday rundown: a new report calculates the high hospital costs for employers. Plus, new legislation could help protect Florida's at-risk wildlife.

Daily Newscasts

Doing the Right Thing for the Right Whale

February 16, 2011

MYSTIC, Conn. - In bygone days, whaling ships out of Mystic and other Connecticut ports hunted the right whale. Now, with only 400 remaining, the death of a rare female North Atlantic right whale on a Florida beach this month has prompted renewed calls for quicker action on rules that could help prevent deaths from fishing line entanglement in the future.

Michael Moore, a senior researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, says when right whales get tangled in fishing line, the outcomes aren't good for the struggling animal.

"It's kind-of like loading a pickup truck full of gear, or towing a trailer. It adds to the fuel consumption hugely."

Moore says one solution is getting as much line out of the water as possible to avoid these preventable deaths. In 2008, Defenders of Wildlife won a lawsuit to help advance the fishing industry's transition to sinking ground-line, and continues to work in the courts and with the government to end right whale entanglement.

The group is also pushing the government to address the problem of vertical lines in fixed fishing gear, which also threatens the whales. Sierra Weaver, an attorney with Defenders of Wildlife, says one way to protect these animals is to move more quickly toward solutions that the fishing industry could adopt.

"We still want a vibrant fishing industry, obviously, but we need to find a way that we can have that fishing industry and have these whales live healthy lives at the same time."

Weaver adds with so few right whales in existence, every animal is very important – and the loss of a young female that could have had calves to help keep the species alive is especially difficult.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT