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Fatally entangled right whales can die extremely slowly

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9 Author(s)
Michael J. Moore ; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mailstop 50, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA ; Andrea Bogomolni ; Robert Bowman ; Philip K. Hamilton
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Unlike smaller marine mammals that lack the mass and power to break free from serious entanglements in fixed fishing gear, right whales can do so, but they are not always rope free. The remaining rope can gradually constrict one or more body parts and the resulting debilitation and ultimate death can take many months. Thus the practices that lead to these mortalities need to be viewed not only as a conflict between the cultural and socioeconomic value of a fishery versus a potential species extinction process, but also in terms of an extreme animal welfare issue

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18-21 Sept. 2006