NANTUCKET, Massachusetts — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the third death of a rare North Atlantic right whale this year has been confirmed.
NOAA and conservationists are keeping a close eye on the right whale population because of high mortality and low reproduction in recent years. The agency says a right whale carcass was found floating about 100 miles east of Nantucket on Sunday.
NOAA says photographs of the animal show wounds consistent with entanglement. Entanglement in fishing gear is a significant cause of death for right whales. The agency says it’s still too early to speculate on a cause of death, though.
Right whales number no more than 450. About 4 percent of the animal’s population died in 2017. No new calves were spotted this year.
Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the latest Maine news.