Contact:
George Liles
NOAA Fisheries
508 495-2378

MA05.09

July 8, 2005

NMFS Northeast Regional Office

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Whale Protection Talk
to be Given at Aquarium

Woods Hole, Mass. – Diane Borggaard will give a public presentation on the effort to protect North Atlantic right whales Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in the Woods Hole Science Aquarium. Borggaard is the large whale coordinator for NOAA Fisheries Service in the Northeast U.S. Her presentation is titled “Right Whales: Protecting the Remaining 300 Animals.”

Right whales are one of the most endangered whales on Earth. They spend part of the year in New England waters, and can sometimes be seen in Cape Cod Bay. Hunted to near extinction, right whales have been protected from whaling since the 1930s, but the population remains dangerously small.

Humans continue to pose a threat to right whales, which are injured and sometimes killed when they become entangled in fishing gear or collide with ships. Borggaard will talk about efforts to prevent entanglements and whale/ship collisions.

Borggaard has been working on marine mammal issues since 1988. She earned a BA in biology at the University of New Hampshire and a M.Sc. in biopsychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she did research on the impact on whales of industrial activities such as blasting, drilling, and shipping.

Borggaard’s presentation is one of four talks on endangered species this month at the aquarium. The Wednesday afternoon talks are part of the Woods Hole Science Aquarium High School Intern Program, which is sponsored jointly by NOAA Fisheries Service and the Marine Biological Laboratory.

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NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

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