May 6, 1999 -- Federal Agents Ask Public for INformation about Death of Right Whale

NMFS Northeast Region

News

Feds Ask for Information

about Right Whale's Death

Gloucester, Mass. -- NOAA Fisheries enforcement agents investigating the recent death of an endangered North Atlantic right whale are asking the public for any information about the circumstances of the whale's death. Anyone with information about a possible ship/whale collision is urged to call the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964.

The whale, nicknamed Staccato, was found dead in Cape Cod Bay April 20. She was last seen alive by a research team that observed her feeding in the bay April 15.

Preliminary results of a necropsy coordinated by NOAA Fisheries revealed broken bones that indicate the whale was struck by a ship, although the actual cause of death has not been determined.

"We are conducting an aggressive and vigorous investigation to find out what happened to this animal," said Andrew Cohen, deputy special agent-in-charge of the NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement in the Northeast Region. "The forensic evidence from the necropsy provides some information, but it would help greatly if we could hear from anyone who has any information about a ship possibly striking a whale between April 15 and April 20."

Cohen asked that anyone with information about the right whale's death call the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement's toll-free hotline, at 1-800-853-1964.

For Immediate

Release

May 6, 1999

Contact:

George Liles

PH: (508) 495-2378

FAX: 508 495-2258

NR99-07

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NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service * One Blackburn Drive * Gloucester, MA * 01930


NMFS Northeast Region

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Right Whale Death

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One of the most endangered large whales on earth, North Atlantic right whales are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The "taking" of a right whale is a violation punishable under the ESA by a fine of up to $50,000 and up to one year in jail.

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NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service * One Blackburn Drive * Gloucester, MA * 01930

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