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Images: Whither the North Atlantic Right Whale?

The North Atlantic right whale’s north-south migration between calving and feeding grounds hugs the coast, setting up dangerous intersections with intensive east-west ship traffic through busy East Coast ports. Ship collisions are a major factor causing the right whale’s population decline.

LIBERATING LEVIATHANS—A rescue team from the Center for Coastal Studies attempts to free a right whale with fishing lines wrapped around it. Fishing gear entanglements kill a significant number of North Atlantic right whales. (Katie Jackson (FWRI).)

GENERATIONS NOT FORTHCOMING—Fewer new North Atlantic right whale calves are being born, threatening the species’ ability to survive. Scientists are seeking to understand the reasons for their low and inconsistent birth rate, which may be linked to pollution or declining food supplies. (The New England Aquarium.)