New Lobster Trap Design Could Save Right Whales

Dec 11, 2017

This female right whale died off the Canadian coast this summer after dragging crab traps for days. NOAA/NEFSC/PETER DULEY

The North Atlantic right whale is Massachusetts’ state marine mammal, and a New England icon. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, the species is again in danger. There are only about 450 individuals remaining, the numbers are declining, and this year was particularly deadly. A leading researcher says that, under current conditions, North Atlantic right whales are just two decades away from extinction. But he says there are technologies and policies that could change that. We talk to Mark Baumgartner of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the chair of the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium.