Beware of Fishing Gear
There were fewer than 450 North Atlantic right whales in 2006. Yet it has been illegal to hunt them since 1935. Why haven’t populations increased? Traits that made right whales easy to hunt make them vulnerable to ship collisions and fishing gear. Sometimes, as the whales feed, they get entangled in lines attached to gear at the bottom of the ocean. Phoenix’s entanglement badly injured her right lip, leaving a distinctive scar from that ordeal. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story.