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Tangled Up

Tangled Up

February 4, 2016

Entanglement in fishing gear is the leading cause of death for endangered North Atlantic right whales. When whales become tangled in fishing gear, such as buoys, and lobster and crab traps, they can tow it around for hundreds of miles over months and sometimes even years. WHOI researchers recently quantified the amount of drag these impediments create on entangled whales pulling the added weight through the water. The new research provides important data for teams evaluating the benefits against the risks of disentanglement—to both the whales and the people trained to free them.(Illustration by Graphic Services, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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